Manitoba

1 in 4 Manitoba drivers found speeding by citizen patrol group

A group of citizens who patrolled highways in Manitoba earlier this month found 26 per cent, or about one in four drivers, speed on provincial roadways.

Volunteers hoping to raise awareness about dangers of reckless driving

Citizen patrols in logged 8,273 drivers speeding over six days in May, or roughly 26 per cent of drivers. (Yvon Theriault/Radio-Canada)

A group of citizens who patrolled highways in Manitoba earlier this month found 26 per cent, or about one in four drivers, speed on provincial roadways.

The data was collected by 30 groups of volunteers with the Citizens on Patrol Program who used Manitoba Public Insurance's electronic speed boards to measure driver speed.

Using pens and paper, volunteers in high-visibility vests jotted down driver speed between May 1 and 6, 2017.

The data was supplied to local law enforcement agencies across the province, said the public auto insurer.

Of the 32,036 vehicles logged, 8,273 were found to be going over the posted speed limit.

"We need people to think about speed and the damage it can do," said Linda Ryckman, co-chair of the Citizens on Patrol Program for Souris.

Crown Services Minister Ron Schuler said patrol volunteers like Ryckman help keep communities safe.

"These high-visual, roadside activities are very effective in sending a road safety message to all motorists," he said.

The number of people speeding in Souris was slightly higher than the provincial average at 36 per cent.

Ryckman said it could be because Highway 2 runs through the community and many drivers end up gunning it to get where they're going.

"We all think we have to be somewhere right now," she said. "Some of those vehicles just don't slow down."

We need people to think about speed and the damage it can do.- Linda Ryckman, co-chair of Citizens on Patrol Program for Souris

She said the dangers of driving too fast were highlighted this past winter when in February a 20-year-old man died in a head-on crash trying to pass a vehicle.

RCMP said at the time poor weather conditions may have limited his visibility.

Ryckman wants to see drivers leave themselves more time to get to where they need to go and if they're running late, keep things in perspective.

"Being five minutes late is probably not the end of the world," she said.

According to Manitoba Public Insurance, every year about 21 people die in speed-related crashes while 600 people are injured in such collisions.

now