20 pedestrians fatally struck in Montreal streets: SPVM 2022 annual report

SPVM officers survey the scene of a fatal collision in Montreal. Global News

The Montreal police department (SPVM) says 28 fatal collisions on Montreal roads in 2022 claimed the lives of 29 people.

The majority of the deaths, according to the preliminary annual report, were the most vulnerable, with 20 pedestrian fatalities.

“It’s really people behind those numbers, we need to keep that in mind when we plan for actions to reduce deaths on our roads,” Sandrine Cabana-Degani, director general for Piétons Quebec, said.

According to the SPVM, in 61 per cent of pedestrian fatalities, the pedestrian was not respecting the Highway Safety Code.

It said the vast majority of collisions involved people crossing the road, happening within five metres of an intersection.

“Our roads were designed for cars to flow but we really need to do more and faster because we are all pedestrians at one point or another,” Cabana-Degani said.

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“We really need to speed up those interventions. If we don’t, we will continue to see those deaths increase each year.”

While seven cyclist deaths were recorded across the province, according to the Sûreté du Québec, only one cyclist died on Montreal streets in 2022.

Vélo Québec says that is a testament to the improvements made to Montreal’s cycling infrastructure over the years.

“We are happy to see there has been a decrease, this is good news but we must continue to secure our streets to make it safer for everyone,” Vélo Québec CEO Jean-François Rheault said.

“The solution is simple: build safe infrastructure and the second thing is reduce the speed of cars.”

Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante says safer streets for pedestrians has always been a priority for her administration.

She announced the approval of a $52.5-million budget Wednesday for infrastructure projects to secure the city’s roads.

“We will continue to do what we can in our power but I call on everyone to respect the speed limit, especially around schools,” Plante said, speaking to the city’s executive committee.

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Last week the city vowed that by the end of the year, the surroundings of 50 establishments frequented by children, including schools and daycare centres as well as two parks, will be made safer.

The SPVM said the data is preliminary, as the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ) has not released its annual report expected in March.

“We take road safety very seriously and act accordingly in the field with repressive actions and awareness campaigns,” a statement reads.

The force has also adopted a 2023 action plan that will focus on protecting vulnerable road users.

A massive protest calling for better road safety is being planned across the province.

Teachers, parents and students are expected to participate in demonstrations outside schools on Jan. 24.

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