Drinking? Driving? RoadWatch will be there

Manitobans encouraged to make ‘safe’ plans to get home

Every year in Manitoba about 140 people are killed in traffic crashes. Alcohol is involved in about one-third of these crashes.

A few seconds of planning may prevent a life-time of suffering, says Manitoba Public Insurance Road Safety Manager Barry Watson.

“Many alcohol-related crashes are totally preventable,” says Watson. “If you’re going to drink, know beforehand how you are going to get home safely. Plan ahead ? think before you drink!”

Tomorrow marks the official launch of Manitoba Public Insurance’s RoadWatch program, which provides funding for police to conduct additional impaired driving roadside checks throughout the summer. RoadWatch, now in its sixth year, combines increased law enforcement with a public awareness campaign aimed at reducing both the human and economic costs of impaired driving crashes.

“Roadside spot checks are a highly visual, proven way of reducing the number of drinking drivers,” says Watson. “Through RoadWatch, Manitoba Public Insurance is able to make a very meaningful commitment to stopping impaired driving by funding additional roadside checks.”

Extra road checks will be set up throughout the province to catch drivers with blood alcohol concentration levels of .05 or higher. Provincial legislation allows police to issue a 24-hour roadside suspension for anybody “blowing” .05 or over.

Last year, RoadWatch saw participating police agencies provide 484.5 visibility hours, conduct 196 check stops, screen 42,488 vehicles, remove 87 impaired drivers and issue 1,306 Highway Traffic Act offence notices.