Nearly half of 14 people killed on Manitoba roads in first four months of 2019 were pedestrians: MPI

Six pedestrians have been killed on Manitoba roads through the first four months of 2019, Manitoba Public Insurance says.

That makes up nearly half of the 14 roadway deaths that occurred between Jan. 1 and April 30.

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One of those deaths occurred in Thompson March 22 when 41-year-old Solomon McDonald of Nelson House, a father of 10, was hit and killed on Highway 391 just north of the Miles Hart Bridge in what police characterized as a hit-and-run. The collision that killed McDonald was reported to Thompson RCMP around 1 a.m. March 22. There was no vehicle at the scene when police arrived.

On average, about 12 pedestrians are killed and 130 injured on Manitoba roads in a year. About half of those pedestrians are killed at intersections, and 10 per cent are killed either between intersections or while walking on a road.

“One death is too many,” said MPI communications vice-president Satvir Jatana in a May 9 news release. “And with the news of these concerning numbers, there’s no better time for Manitobans to focus on road safety than Canada Road Safety Week (May 14-20).”

 An enforcement-driven initiative led by the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, Canada Road Safety Week aims to increase safe driving to save lives and reduce injuries on Canadian roads. It is part of the broader Canada’s Road Safety Strategy 2025 that hopes to make Canada’s roads the safest in the world by focusing on behaviours that put people in vehicles, pedestrians and other vulnerable road users at risk.

“This annual awareness campaign focuses on behaviours that put drivers, passengers and other road users most at risk: distracted driving, impaired driving, non-seatbelt use, speeding and incidents involving vulnerable road users,” said Jatana. “Pedestrians can be particularly vulnerable since they don’t have a ton of steel protecting them like occupants within a vehicle. Road safety is the responsibility of all Manitobans. Behind these numbers are real lives lost and families left to deal with the senseless and often unnecessary loss of a loved one. As a community we need to start thinking differently about road safety. We need to change the conversation and create a culture where even one motor vehicle fatality is considered one too many.”

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