August 6, 2018 4:20 pm
Updated: August 6, 2018 4:32 pm

Driving death toll reaches 13 during Quebec’s construction holiday

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The toll reached 13 for driving-related deaths during Quebec’s summer construction holidays.

The Sûreté du Québec says 13 deaths is considered average but that the figure was a decline from the 19 killed on the province’s roads last year.

READ MORE: Speed, impaired driving cause 19 deaths over Quebec construction holiday

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According to preliminary assessments, the SQ stated that at least five of the deaths were caused by distracted driving.

“These five deaths could have been avoided. If the driver had put their phone away, the victims would still be among us,” said SQ division of road safety spokesperson Paul Leduc.

“There are five families that lost a loved one and will have to live with that.”

READ MORE: 2 motorcyclists dead in Saint-Côme crash as construction holidays draws to an end

Leduc says 15 per cent of the province’s road collisions since the beginning of 2018 were caused by distracted driving.

“The rate is high and the number keeps increasing,” added Leduc.

“Our officers are trying to crack down on distracted driving, finding new ways of stopping the trend.”

While speed continues to be the number one cause of road deaths, distracted driving surpassed drunk driving as the second leading cause of road deaths in recent months, stated Leduc.

Leduc says a fine of up to $300 plus administrative costs and five demerit points can be imposed on drivers who have a mobile device in their hands while driving.

READ MORE: Amendments to Quebec’s Highway Safety Code aim to crack down on distracted driving

Leduc adds that he has never received an email or text message that was worth putting his life or others’ lives in danger.

During the two weeks of construction holidays, the SQ performed over 15,000 traffic stops and wrote over 17,000 tickets for traffic violations, including more than 10,000 tickets for speeding.

The SQ setup 720 roadblocks as impaired driving checkpoints throughout the province. There were two deaths as a result of impaired driving during the two-week span.

 

 

© 2018 The Canadian Press

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