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Winnipeg Police and RCMP Launch of Holiday Checkstop Program

The Winnipeg Police and Manitoba RCMP launched this years checkstop program that will run throughout December.
Winnipeg Police and RCMP launch this years checkstop.

By Staff Writer l Winnipeg Tribune

Winnipeg, December 4, 2023 - The Winnipeg Police Service and Manitoba RCMP have united their efforts for the 2023 holiday Checkstop program. The collaboration between the Winnipeg Police Service (WPS) and Manitoba RCMP underscores the critical need for increased vigilance, particularly due to the surge in travellers and celebrants during this period.

Road safety remains a paramount concern for authorities year-round. However, the surge in seasonal revellers amplifies the necessity for stringent enforcement measures like Checkstops.

Tragically, Manitoba witnessed an alarming number of fatalities on its roadways in 2023. A grim statistic of 109 lives lost in collisions, encompassing both RCMP and WPS jurisdictions, highlights the severity of the issue. The primary cause behind these fatal incidents has been identified as impaired driving, accounting for the majority of collisions resulting in tragic outcomes. Over the last five years, within the RCMP's jurisdiction alone, there have been 143 fatal collisions linked to impairment.

"We continue to address the perilous driving behaviours – impaired driving, speeding, seatbelt negligence, and distracted driving – that contribute to fatalities and grave injuries on our roads," stated Inspector Michael Gagliardi, Officer in Charge of RCMP Traffic Services. "Through measures such as Checkstops and mandatory alcohol screening, we aim to deter these behaviours and promote safer choices."

Inspector Gagliardi emphasized the preventable nature of these incidents, emphasizing the pivotal role of personal choices in ensuring road safety. "All the fatalities and life-altering injuries on our roads are avoidable," he asserted. "The solution is straightforward: Choice. By opting not to drive impaired, adhering to speed limits, wearing seatbelts, and staying focused, lives can be preserved. It's as simple as that. Our officers will be actively conducting Checkstops to encourage these safe decisions."

It's important to note that while Checkstops primarily target impaired driving, they serve as a comprehensive measure against all illegal and high-risk driving behaviours, intending to safeguard every road user.

"Enforcement forms a crucial part of the broader strategy to secure our roads," highlighted Inspector Marc Philippot from the WPS Central Traffic Division. "Ensuring road safety during this holiday season commences with each individual committing to plan a safe journey home. Your proactive choices matter."

"The only foolproof number of drinks while driving is zero," stressed Minister of Justice Matt Wiebe. "This festive season, opt for the responsible choice, plan for a safe ride home without driving under the influence. Whether it's calling a cab, utilizing Operation Red Nose, taking public transport, or staying put, let's collectively ensure Manitobans' safety on our roads."

Trevor Ens, President of MADD Manitoba, endorsed police Checkstop programs as swift deterrents to intercept impaired drivers, underscoring their role in preserving lives and ensuring safer roads during the holidays.

Reflecting on the gravity of the issue, Satvir Jatana, MPI's Chief Customer Officer, reiterated the collective responsibility in combating impaired driving. "Each year, Manitobans lose their lives or suffer serious injuries due to the irresponsible choices of those driving impaired. Our message is crystal clear – never drink and drive, not even a few. Plan a safe ride home this holiday season."

The Checkstop program is slated to continue throughout December, with both law enforcement agencies set to release the final statistics upon its conclusion.


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