Quebec, and Montreal in particular, is in for an horrific weekend of traffic. An influx of visitors for la Saint Jean Baptiste combined with some major road and highway closures will create a mess of detours and congestion in the greater Montreal area.
The beginning of a burst of construction and infrastructure repairs (including the finishing touches on the new Champlain Bridge) also means that Quebec drivers will need to take extra care to heed the direction of road signage.
To complicate matters even further, Quebec provincial police will be out in full force to issue tickets to speeding and rule-breaking drivers.
In a post to Twitter, Sûreté du Québec (SQ) confirmed that its officers “will intensify their interventions on the road network from June 21 to July 1 in anticipation of the many trips during the long holidays of the Fête Nationale of Quebec and Canada Day.”
Remember that even fines for the most common offenses can reach hundreds of dollars. Drivers caught not wearing a seatbelt, for example, may receive a fine worth between $200 and $300, according to the Société d'assurance automobile de Québec (SAAQ).
Using a cellphone for any reason other than to call emergency services, meanwhile, can result in a fine of between $300 and $600. Fines for speeding depend on the degree to which the driver has exceeded the limit, but fines double in work zones — a point Montreal motorists should remember as they take to the construction-heavy roads this weekend.
In the coming week, however, SQ officers "will focus on driving impaired by alcohol, drugs or a combination of both. There are various ways in which police can detect drivers with impaired driving skills, including movement coordination tests and drug recognition assessments," according to a statement.
"Speed, seatbelt use and cell phone use while driving will also be included in the offenses targeted by the police. Remember that the speed and use of cell phones while driving are the leading causes of fatal collisions in Quebec."
For more information on detours and traffic this weekend in the Montreal area, refer to our article here.