Road safety: 2022, the worst year in a decade, deplores the SQ

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Road safety: 2022, the worst year in a decade, deplores the SQ

There were 21 more fatal collisions in 2022 than the previous year, for a total of 266. (Photo by archives)

The number of fatal collisions and pedestrians hit by drivers increased in Quebec last year compared to 2021, according to the most recent report from the Sûreté du Québec (SQ).

The provincial police thus report 266 fatal collisions last year, compared to 245 in 2021. These accidents caused 291 deaths, an increase of 26 compared to the previous year.

Also according to the report provided Tuesday by the SQ, the number of collisions with road tractors, that is to say heavy goods vehicles, has also increased, to 47, while we recorded 41 in 2021.

Another rising statistic is the number of pedestrians killed by drivers, whether they are people driving; an automobile, sport utility vehicle or other vehicle jumped 6 between 2021 and 2022, from 30 to 36.

In fact, as indicated by the SQ, the data presented are mostly above the average of the last five years. And if it is possible to think that the year 2020, with its confinements and the closure of many companies, has lowered the average, it is quite different. Rather, 2019 was the best year of the decade in terms of road safety.

According to the 2022 report, only collisions with at least one motorcycle are down from 53 in 2021 to 43 last year. As for the number of cyclists killed, it remained stable at seven victims.

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The report of the Sûreté du Québec does not include accidents occurring in cities or municipalities under the responsibility of police forces other than the SQ, for example large cities such as Montreal, Laval, Longueuil, Sherbrooke, Trois-Rivières and Quebec.

The Sûreté du Québec is adamant that too many drivers continue to travel too quickly on the roads or are reckless. Thus, approximately one-third (32%) of fatal collisions are attributable to these two risk factors.

Otherwise, 15% of crashes resulting in fatalities are due to driving while impaired by alcohol, drugs or fatigue.

Finally, inattention or distraction resulted in about 1 in 10 (9%) fatal accidents.

The SQ also indicates that almost a third (30%) of the victims of these collisions were not wearing their seatbelt; this situation is worrying, it is mentioned in the information note.

Capt. Paul Leduc, Acting Commander of Transportation Network Safety for the OPP, says he's amazed that so many people aren't wearing seatbelts.

This [proportion] throws me to the ground, he said in an interview with Radio-Canada.

In fact, the idea that people traveling in a vehicle necessarily wear seat belts was taken for granted. So much so, in fact, that the SQ had stopped carrying out awareness campaigns on this subject.

However, the number of victims who were not wearing the seat belt has increased over the past three years, said Captain Leduc. Of course, that's not to say that if [the victims] had worn the belt they would have survived, but in several cases it would have been true.

Regarding speeding at the wheel, which is the main cause of fatal accidents, according to the most recent report, the SQ officer recognizes that there is still work to be done to reverse the trends.

“In 2022, SQ police officers issued more than 250,000 statements of offense in link with speed; to this, we must add the more than 500,000 findings awarded by photoradar… And photoradar, it's announced in advance! This is an issue we need to keep working on. »

— Captain Paul Leduc, of the Sûreté du Québec

Overall, Captain Leduc mentions again, the 2022 road safety record is the worst since a decade.

This is a deterioration [of the balance sheet] for the third consecutive year, after an improvement for about fifteen years, he adds.

We can't help but worry about these numbers. These are too high for us; we are still looking for a downtrend.

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