Winnipeg police and Manitoba RCMP officers are sharing deeply personal stories about patrolling the province's roads this week, in an effort to get people to drive safely.

Winnipeg police Const. Stephane Fontaine responded to a fatal crash on Bishop Grandin on Halloween night in 2010.

Two teen girls were killed.

"It's one of those things you will never forget. Sights, smells – those things stick with you," said Fontaine. "Every fatality is a bad one, but this one was bad all around."

Later, the driver would be convicted of criminal negligence causing death. She was drinking and had been texting when she struck the vehicle the girls were in.

Impaired driving and distracted driving are two of the top killers on Manitoba's roads. Impaired driving alone is responsible for 40 per cent of fatal crashes in the province.

In the past five years, RCMP have responded to 175 fatal crashes that involved impaired drivers in their jurisdiction.

This week, officers will be targeting drunk drivers, distracted drivers, speeders and people who don't wear their seatbelts.

Cpl. Mark Hume of RCMP west traffic services has been to 300 crashes in the past 15 years. Hume said one of the most difficult was telling a man his wife and daughter had been killed in a crash in rural Manitoba. 

"I thought I had prepared myself for a few different outcomes. When I told him, he looked me dead in the eye, shrugged his shoulders, took a deep breath and said, 'What do I do now?'"

Hume estimates he has been to 300 crashes in his 15 years.

RCMP and Winnipeg police are warning drivers that officers will be out in full force for long weekend, and check stops will be in place.

"We tell them, 'You are lucky. You are lucky this is just an impaired driving charge. Hopefully [it's] a wake-up call – hopefully you will learn from it. It could have been a lot worse if we were arresting you for killing someone from impaired driving,'" said Sgt. Rob Riffel with the Winnipeg Police Service.

Source: CBC News


Last updated on: 2015-05-28 | Link to this post