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Quebec provincial police say road deaths dropped slightly in 2023

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There was a slight drop in the number of road deaths in Quebec in 2023 but road safety advocates say a lot more must be done.

While fewer pedestrians died in collisions in 2023 than in 2022, distracted drivers still present a danger, according to the latest road safety figures of the Association of Quebec Police Chiefs.

"It can be texting, it can be talking with your baby in the back of the car. It can be watching on the left when there's someone on the right — it can be a lot of things," said Anthony Mager-Dugas, a road safety inspector with Laval police.

The report revealed that distraction among drivers is the second-leading cause of death. Among the 300 drivers who died in 2023 as a result of road collisions, the Association des directeurs de police du Québec (ADPQ) says there was one main factor.

"If the driver decreases the speed, they will reduce the injuries," said Louise Bonneau, a road safety manager with the ADPQ.

That's true for those behind the wheel and for pedestrians and cyclists alike, says Piétons Québec Director Sandrine Cabana-Degani.

She points out that while 61 pedestrians died last year is an improvement from 2022, there are still way too many deaths.

"But we need to keep in mind that 2022 was the worst road safety record for pedestrians in the last 15 years, with 79 pedestrian deaths," Cabana-Degani said.

In order to improve road safety, the provincial association is focusing on drivers and wants to raise awareness with the help of a Quebec-wide road safety sharing operation. It will run between April 26 and May 2.

"We have special budgets during that specific period in order to be able to deploy additional resources and to intervene on the roads," said Francis Bernardin, head of the Sûreté du Québec's Road Safety and Recreational Tourism Department.

Some people who spoke to CTV News said they agreed that more needs to be done to change behaviours among drivers.

At the end of the day, experts say to improve road safety everyone needs to respect the rules of the road and each other

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