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Sûreté du Québec cracks down on speeding after spate of serious road injuries

Click to play video: 'Quebec provincial police crack down on speeding drivers'
Quebec provincial police crack down on speeding drivers
Quebec provincial police are getting tough on speeding after an uptick in collisions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Global's Brayden Jagger Haines reports – Sep 24, 2020

Three Quebec road construction workers in the last week have been struck by passing cars that were speeding, police say.

One of those three workers succumbed to his injuries and died on Monday. Another is in critical condition in hospital. He was struck on Wednesday in a motorcycle crash that killed the driver and sent a passenger to hospital in critical condition.

READ MORE:  One dead, two seriously injured after crash on Laval’s Highway 440

The recent uptick in road-side collisions is concerning for Sgt. Marie-Michèle Moore of the Sûreté du Québec.

On Thursday, the provincial police force launched a speeding operation on Highway 20  stretching from Rimouski in eastern Quebec to the south shore suburb of Longueuil just outside Montreal.

Some 80 officers were involved in the crackdown. In just a little under an hour, 17 drivers were pulled over, all of them speeding, Moore said.

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When all was said and done, officers handed out 397 tickets, including 352 for speeding, six for using a cellphone while behind the wheel, 11 for failing to wear a seat belt and 28 unspecified offences.

At least two drivers had their permits suspended for excessive speeding after they were clocked going at 170 and 180 kilometres per hour.

READ MORE: Quebec police crack down on speeding as drivers flout limits during coronavirus lockdown

Speeding, according to Moore, is on the rise. She says the force has noticed an upward trend on Quebec highways in the last six months.

The SQ has launched numerous ticketing operations throughout the pandemic.

During quarantine, between the months of March and June, the SQ reported 17 per cent fewer drivers on the road. Despite that, speeding was down only five per cent from 2019.

READ MORE: Police to crack down on distracted driving across Quebec

“We are focusing on Highway 20 today because there is a lot of construction on the roadway but we plan on being on others in the coming weeks,” Moore said.

Moore says the police presence will be increased in construction areas in light of the recent incidents.

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“When you see a police car, you slow down. It’s automatic,” Moore said.

Click to play video: 'SQ to begin cracking down on speeding'
SQ to begin cracking down on speeding

READ MORE: Number of fatal collisions on Quebec roads in 2019 the lowest in 10 years: SQ

The number of fatal collisions on the province’s roads is the lowest it has been in the past 10 years, according to the Sûreté du Québec (SQ).

Quebec provincial police report that for 2019, the number of crashes ending in death decreased to 216 in 2019 from 237 in 2018.

The SQ points out that the lowest number of fatal crashes in the past decade comes even as the number of vehicles on Quebec streets and highways continues to grow.

Excessive speed is the one of most common causes of fatal collisions in the province. The SQ said excessive speed or dangerous driving was the cause of nearly 30 per cent of crashes in 2019.

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