December 14, 2010 – With nine Manitobans having been killed on our roadways over a recent five-week span, Manitoba Public Insurance is encouraging all motorists to practice road safety as the holiday season approaches.
The data was collected from October 31 to December 3, 2010, explained Ted Hlynsky, Vice-President, Claims Control & Safety Operations, Manitoba Public Insurance.
“The number of deaths over this small period of time is very concerning from a safety perspective,” said Hlynsky. “Whether it’s icy roads, blowing snow or driving behavior, motorists are encouraged to self evaluate their driving behaviours and hopefully make the necessary changes.
“The Christmas holiday season should be a time of rejoicing, not one of pain and suffering,” said Hlynsky. “All motorists are encouraged to drive with road safety in mind.”
Manitoba Public Insurance claims data also reported that the Christmas holiday period is the second-worst holiday period for road fatalities. Over the last five years a total of eight Manitobans have been killed on our roadways during the Christmas holiday period.
The crash data was collected over a five-year period – 2005-2009 – and reported a total of 349 people injured over the Christmas holiday period, said Hlynsky.
About 30 per cent of all road fatalities and injuries in Manitoba are the result of alcohol, while speed-related incidents account for another 25 per cent of fatalities, said Hlynsky.
Motorists have a number of options available to them if they intend on consuming alcohol over the holiday season:
- Make arrangements to sleep at the host’s home
- Call Operation Red Nose
- Delegate a designated driver
- Call a taxi
In making our roadways safer from drinking drivers, Manitoba’s police agencies will also be out on the roads during the Christmas holiday period for all of December and into January.
During last year’s 2009/2010 Christmas Checkstop Program, RCMP members charged 108 people with impaired driving, drive over .08, or refusal; and issued an additional 55, 24-hour alcohol related roadside suspensions. More than 2800 people were also charged for various Highway Traffic Act offences. In total, more than 19,000 vehicles were checked during last year’s Christmas program.
Manitoba Public Insurance is a nonprofit Crown Corporation that has provided basic automobile coverage since 1971. Our services are available throughout Manitoba in claim centres and Customer Service centres. For more information, please visit http://www.mpi.mb.ca.