RCMP and Manitoba Public Insurance are calling on drivers to take extra precaution over the September long weekend.

Over the past two months, there have been 23 road fatalities on Manitoba roadways, according to MPI claims data.

More than 80 per cent of those were on rural highways and roads.

This weekend, RCMP and MPI are urging drivers to slow down, be aware and expect slow moving traffic or machinery on the roads.

RCMP released these tips on passing for drivers this weekend:

  • Only pass when safe to do so, keeping in mind speeding is not permitted while passing
  • Do not jockey for placement on the highway. If someone is passing you, let them. The Highway Traffic Act states that when being overtaken by a vehicle travelling in the same direction, you will let that vehicle pass by remaining in your lane and you will not increase the speed of your vehicle until you are completely passed by the overtaking vehicle
  • Always use your signals to inform other drivers of your intentions
  • Ensure your lights are on, even during the day, so oncoming traffic can see you
  • RCMP said drivers need to buckle up, drive sober and reduce their speed to stay safe.

MPI released these safety tips for motorists:

  • Don’t drink and drive. On average, about 30 per cent of Manitoba road deaths are related to alcohol.
  • Buckle up. A person is nearly 21 times more likely to be killed and five times more likely to be seriously injured when not wearing a seat belt.
  • Put away the cellphone. On average, 25 people are killed each year on Manitoba roadways due to distracted driving.
  • Slow down. Speed kills. Nearly 30 per cent of fatal collisions are linked to speeding.
  • Don’t drive drowsy. On average, there about 100 fatigue-related crashes reported each year in Manitoba, nearly half of those crashes causing an injury or death.