The distraction has caused more victims than alcohol on the roads of Quebec

Photo: Rich Pedroncelli Archives Associated Press
Good year, bad year, the Sûreté du Québec distributes more than 10 000 observations related to the use of cell phone use while driving, but the problem goes beyond that.

The number of fatal collisions on Quebec roads due to distracted driving has increased dramatically from 41% in 2017, from 17 to 24, to exceed for the first time those caused by alcohol and drugs, reveals the road assessment on remand of the Sûreté du Québec (SQ) released on Friday.


The problem goes beyond cell phone use while driving, explained Patrick Després, the inspector in charge of road safety to the SQ. “Regularly, the police will see people reading while driving, putting on makeup, or do any other thing than focusing on the most important task : driving their vehicle,” he explained.


The use of the smartphone as a GPS is very popular, notice the police. “Once it is secured on the dashboard, it is very tempting to manipulate it to go see her texting, but it’s just as illegal to have it in hand,” stressed Dr. Després in an interview with The canadian Press.


Good year, bad year, the Sûreté du Québec distributes more than 10 000 observations related to the use of cell phone use while driving.


“It was a lot of outreach to do,” admitted the inspector Després, stressing that the vehicles are more equipped with interactive dashboards and touch screens.


He compared this challenge to the hard work of awareness of seatbelt safety. These efforts continue to bear fruit, as evidenced by the fall in half by 2017 the number of people who died who had not buckled their belt.


The speed, the main cause


Excessive speed remains the leading cause of fatal collisions. She has been responsible for over 30 % last year, despite a significant decrease of 89 in 2016, 76 in 2017.


The police warn the population to be wary of popular beliefs : this is not the night and the winter that occurs the majority of fatal accidents, but the reverse. Nearly two-thirds occurred in the middle of the day.


Motorists roll faster when it is nice outside, explained Patrick Després. The collisions are more intense, the injuries and the mortality rate also. In the winter, because of snow, motorists move more slowly. During the loss of control, the snow can absorb more shock. The police regrets that after four years of decline, the number of deceased persons aged 16 to 24 years in motor vehicle collisions has increased by 46 %, from 39 in 2016 to 57 last year.


“It is necessary to bring the young people assert themselves when they are in a car and say to his friend, who is driving : “Slow, you’re going too fast !” “, launched the inspector Després.




Alcohol and drugs at the wheel to take the third place in the provisional assessment of the SQ on the causes of fatal collisions, slipping to 9 %.


Less than six months of the legalization of marijuana for recreational use, police say they are ready in case of driving while impaired by drugs.


“This is not a phenomenon that is new and that will occur at the time of the legalization,” said Patrick Després. Almost all of the patrol officers of the Sûreté du Québec are trained to detect symptoms of impaired by the drug. “


The SQ reports that its police stop more than 19 people per day capacities are impaired by drugs or alcohol.


Overall, the preliminary assessment of the SQ reported a 1.7% increase in the number of fatal collisions in 2017, compared to the previous year.


On the territory patrolled by the officers of the SQ, the number of fatal collisions happened in a year of 240 to 244, but the number of deaths for the same period increased 3.5 %, from 260 to 269.


The picture is not entirely dark. According to the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec, the number of people killed on the roads of Quebec was 2209 45 years ago, the vast majority of the territory patrolled by the SQ.


The provisional report of the Sûreté du Québec does not take into account the accidents that have occurred on the territories served by municipal police forces, including those of Montréal and Québec city.