More than 2,200 impaired drivers have been taken off the roads over the last 10 years thanks to the Manitoba Public Insurance sponsored RoadWatch program.
Now in its 21st year, RoadWatch begins this Victoria Day weekend and will continue until November. The program supplements existing police enforcement efforts and will result in enhanced police presence on Manitoba streets and highways, particularly on holiday weekends. In total, five police agencies will participate: RCMP and police services in Winnipeg, Brandon, Morden, and Winkler.
Impaired driving continues to be a major issue on Manitoba roadways. In total, 70 people were killed in auto-related crashes in 2018, with preliminary analysis showing 45 per cent of those deaths linked to impaired (alcohol or drugs) driving.
“RoadWatch has been a highly effective road safety strategy in keeping Manitoba roadways safe,” said Satvir Jatana, vice-president responsible for Communications, Manitoba Public Insurance. “All road users are encouraged to commit to road safety and help save the 100 people who are killed, on average, on our public roadways.
“RoadWatch’s high-visibility roadside check stops, when combined with public awareness and education, send a strong message that illegal and high-risk driving behaviours such as impaired driving, speeding, distracted driving, and non-use of seatbelts will not be tolerated.”
Over the last 10 years, more than 3,600 check stop locations have been held by law enforcement throughout Manitoba. In addition to removing impaired drivers from the road, RoadWatch checks have also resulted in more than 19,000 Highway Traffic Act offence notices issued for offences ranging from not using seatbelts, speeding, texting while driving and driving while suspended.
Who is driving impaired?
- Young males make up the majority of those involved in impaired collisions.
- Males account for nearly three-quarters of impaired drivers involved in crashes.
- Drivers under age 35 (all genders) account for nearly two-thirds of impaired drivers involved in crashes.
- Drivers under the age of 35 have a rate of involvement in impaired driving crashes that is nearly four times that of drivers age 35 and older.