"Yes, the number of fatal collisions increased exponentially in recent weeks, and yes, we are concerned."
Those words are from the officer in charge of the Saskatchewan RCMP Traffic Services, Superintendent Grant St. Germaine, as the RCMP reported 22 fatal collisions in their jurisdiction from September 1st to October 25th. This averaged out to a fatal collision every 2.5 days. In the time period from January 1st to August 31st - eight months - there were 36 fatal collisions.
Last year, the RCMP reported seven collisions fatal collisions in the September 1st to October 25th time frame.
"The impact is great on our police officers as well, responding to and investigating fatal collisions," St. Germaine added. "No one wants to, nor can anything prepare you for, delivering a next of kin notification. Our officers are not the only ones on scene – there are emergency medical personnel and firefighters, who may also be local volunteers, as well as tow truck drivers, among others."
Here in the southeast, there have been four fatal collisions this month, with two reported last week as winter driving conditions returned to the region. However, the RCMP said there hasn't been any one mitigating factor that has helped to provide a contributing cause to the overall increase. Impaired driving has been considered a factor in 17 of the 58 fatal collisions this year.
The investigations of the collisions have been taxing on the province's collision reconstructionists as well. The five full-time and five part-time reconstructionists have logged more than 13,000 kilometres collectively to assist in the investigation of the fatal collisions.
Recognizing there are a multitude of factors related to fatal collisions, our message is to please drive safe on our roads. We want everyone to get home safe," said Supt. St. Germaine.
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