More Police Calls, Fewer Collisions During Construction Holidays

On the eve of the construction holidays, the Sûreté du Québec (SQ) announced Thursday that it will intensify its interventions on the road network. A drop of nearly 24% in the number of road accidents during this holiday was recorded between 2017 and 2022 according to data obtained by The duty with the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ).

“We are increasing our operations throughout the province to target four specific things on the road network: wearing seat belts, cell phones while driving, speeding and impaired driving,” confirms the SQ at Duty.

The police presence will be on the rise on the roads, but also on the trails and bodies of water, in order to encourage holidaymakers to be careful.

Construction holidays represent a period when fatal and injury collisions are particularly high, the statement read.

The “construction holiday operation”, launched this year under the theme of “Safety does not take holidays!” has now become a tradition set up by the SQ every summer.

The SQ reminds vacationers of the importance of caution during their recreational tourism activities. Wearing a helmet is mandatory for all-terrain vehicle enthusiasts and the police force strongly recommends wearing a personal flotation device at all times during nautical outings.

According to the figures communicated to the Duty by the SAAQ, the number of road accidents fell from 4,290 to 3,263 between 2017 and 2022. The number of victims, including deaths and all injuries, fell by nearly 21%.

The trend is also downward for each of the indicators measured: number of deaths, number of injuries (serious and minor), as well as accidents resulting in material damage only.

A Quebec tradition

It was in the summer of 1971 that the decree promulgating the mythical construction holidays in Quebec came into effect.

During the 37 years following this first decree, the construction holidays were assiduously reserved for the last two weeks of July.

From 2008, the tradition crumbled and the dates determined by collective agreements extended until the first days of August.

The variety of trades involved in a construction site means that a single leave simplifies personnel management.

Nearly 80% of the active mass of the sector – labor, employees and employers – benefits from this compulsory annual rest. However, exceptions may apply: this is the case for civil engineering and road works. The same applies to work relating to light or new residential construction.

The leave extends beyond the construction sector, as nearly a third of all workers in Quebec take advantage of these two weeks of respite.

Despite the economic difficulties linked to the recessionthe year 2023 saw an increase in the number of hours worked in the sector with 40.5 million hours recorded in the first quarter, according to a press release from the Commission de la construction du Québec (CCQ).

The construction sector employs nearly 200,000 workers across Quebec, again according to CCQ figures.

With Clara Descurninges

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