In the first two months of 2019, preliminary counts report five people killed on public roadways in Manitoba. This total is significantly lower (62 per cent) than the same time frame in 2018 – a total of 13 people.
Over the last decade, the first two months of 2019 are well below the average of 10 people killed, according to Manitoba Public Insurance data.
Of note, there were no off-road vehicle (ORV) fatalities in the first two months of 2019. In the same period of 2018 there were three ORV fatalities.
Road fatalities in Manitoba continue to be attributed to distracted driving, impaired driving, speed and not wearing a seatbelt.
“Through continued use of education, heightened awareness and partnerships with agencies, MPI remains committed to saving the 100 people,” said Satvir Jatana, vice-president responsible for Communications, Manitoba Public Insurance. “While the first two months of 2019 are very positive, there is still much work to do as we strive for zero fatalities. The reality is that every single person killed in a motor vehicle collision over the last decade had a personal connection to someone. Each and every one of their lives mattered. Manitobans need to be less accepting towards road fatalities and more committed to driving motor vehicle-related deaths down to zero.”
In support of Manitoba’s provincial road safety action plan, MPI launched a new and innovative road safety awareness campaign ‘Save the 100’. The key objective of the campaign is to reduce tolerance/acceptance for traffic fatalities by asking Manitobans to look beyond the statistics and focus on the real people and real lives lost behind every lost life reported.
An equally important message is that every Manitoban has the power to bring the annual fatality count down to zero by changing how we think about road safety, the way we drive, and the decisions we make behind the wheel.
Road to Zero
In the fall of 2017, Manitoba’s Provincial Road Safety Committee released its road safety action plan. The Road to Zero: Manitoba Road Safety Plan 2017-2020 is the first plan of its kind in Manitoba, and provides a vision for Manitoba to have the safest roads in Canada. The plan adopts a safe systems approach to road safety in which road users, highway infrastructure, vehicle design and technology, legislation, enforcement, and health services all play a role in developing solutions to reduce or eliminate injury and death on our roadways.
Highlighted priorities from the plan include more coordinated research and planning between agencies within the safe system, early adoption of automated vehicle technology, improved safety for vulnerable road users through smart road design, evolving Manitoba’s traffic safety culture, reducing driver distraction and impairment, increasing awareness of medically at-risk drivers of all ages, and examining new speed management strategies to lower risk, among others.