The Sûreté du Québec (SQ) released Quebec road accident stats for 2021, showing a 6.06% increase in fatal collisions compared to 2020, when lockdowns and travel restrictions forced many people off the roads.
According to Thursday's statement by the SQ, the Quebec police force responded to 245 deadly car accidents in 2021. In those 245 accidents, 262 people were declared dead, a 4.8% increase from 2020.
Combined, the Mauricie and Lanaudière regions had the most deadly traffic accidents (47), closely followed by Montérégie (40), Estrie and the Centre-du-Quebec (33), the Capitale-Nationale and Chaudière-Appalaches (26), the Bas-Saint-Laurent and Gaspésie–Îles-de-la-Madeleine (26) and Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean and the Côte-Nord (26).
Deadly accidents also occurred in the Outaouais and Laurentides regions, as well as the Abitibi-Témiscamingue and Nord-du-Québec regions.
"The figures presented are above the average of the last five years," the Sûreté said in its release. They also released information about the key factors surrounding many of these accidents.
"The Sûreté du Québec maintains its efforts to ensure the safety of road users," added the Sûreté. "We would like to remind drivers that they must adopt safe driving behaviour and exercise caution to reduce the risk of being involved in a collision."
20% of road deaths occurred in instances where victims were not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the collision. According to police records, 24.5% of deadly road accidents were caused by reckless driving or speeding.
Impaired and distracted driving were also reported as dangerous behaviour, causing 14% and 7% of deadly accidents, respectively.
It's official — 2021 was the hottest year on record for Montreal, according to Environment Canada. It beat out the previous hottest years, 1998 and 2012, by a mean few hundredths of a degree.
This rise in temperature in Montreal is attributed to new weather patterns, causing scorching temperatures in June, August, September and October. "August and October were record-breaking months," said Environment Canada spokesperson Simon Legault.
"We were lucky that July was below normal because if it hadn't happened that way, [...] we would have shattered the record instead of just breaking it," he added.
A few hundredths of a degree may not sound like such a big problem, but temperatures in Montreal (and around the world) have been steadily rising.
The average annual temperature in Montreal from 1951 to 1980 was 6.5ºC, according to ClimateData.ca. Last year's mean temperature came in at a whopping 8.6ºC. This drastic increase in fortyish years has already begun to show its effects — not just on our electrical bills in the summer, but also the health of the population, the Climate Action Network says.
Whether or not 2022 will be even hotter remains anyone's guess. Projections for an area as small as Southern Quebec can only be made a few weeks in advance.
What we do know is that February and March should be significantly warmer than January.
"A few short intense waves of cold are coming in," Legault said of January, adding that February and March are expected to be "close to or above normal temperatures."
Where: Librairie Saint Henri Books, Indigo, Argo Bookshop, etc.
Why You Should Go: To buy yourself a new book to keep you occupied during curfew hours! Retail stores remain open at 50% capacity under new restrictions, but keep in mind that they'll be closed on the first three Sundays of January.
The Quebec government is going to pump a ton of cash into Montreal-area public transit authorities in an effort to, hopefully, make your transit commute better. Chantal Rouleau, Minister of Transport and Minister responsible for the Metropolitan Area and the Montreal Region, announced a $24.8 million financial contribution for mitigation measures in public and active transportation.
"Because public transit is a sustainable solution to road congestion, it is essential for us to maintain the mitigation measures that have been implemented and that have proven their worth," Rouleau said in a press release.
According to the government's plan, the funding is a concrete measure to implement "sustainable mobility solutions to limit the impact of roadwork on traffic in the metropolitan region."
While short on details, the contribution will be paid directly to the Autorité régionale de transport métropolitain (ARTM), the metropolitan transit authority.
Much of the funding will be to "support measures currently in effect, such as service improvements on the networks of exo, the Réseau de transport de Longueuil (RTL), the Société de transport de Laval (STL) and the Société de transport de Montréal (STM), or the addition of incentive parking spaces," according to the government's announcement.
"These measures are in addition to the daily efforts of Mobilité Montréal's partners to coordinate construction-related obstacles and limit their number and impact on traffic," Rouleau explained.
The province has invested $443.8 million into public transit mitigation measures since 2011.
This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.