Winnipeg Police Service and RCMP launch holiday Checkstop program

December 1, 2023, Headingley, Manitoba – The Winnipeg Police Service and the Manitoba RCMP joined forces to launch the 2023 holiday Checkstop program in Headingley, Manitoba. While road safety is top of mind for police throughout the year, the increase in travellers, particularly those who are out celebrating the season, is one of the reasons that enforcement like Checkstops is necessary.

There has been a shocking amount of fatalities on Manitoba roadways in 2023. Accounting for both RCMP and WPS jurisdiction, 109 people have died in collisions, and the most common cause of those fatal collisions is impaired driving. In the last five years in RCMP jurisdiction, there have been 143 impairment-related fatal collisions.

We are continuing to talk about the high-risk driving behaviours – impaired driving, speeding, lack of seatbelts, and distracted driving – that are causing fatalities and serious injuries on our roadways, and we have been doing so for many years. We are also continuing to enforce against those behaviours with tools such as Checkstops and mandatory alcohol screening.

“All the deaths we are seeing on the roadways, all the life-altering injuries – they are all avoidable,” said Inspector Michael Gagliardi, Officer in Charge of RCMP Traffic Services. “The answer is simple: Choice. If people make a choice not to drive impaired, not to speed, and to buckle up and pay attention, lives can be saved. It is that easy. Our officers will be out there conducting Checkstops to help people make those safe choices.”

Checkstops don’t just enforce against impaired driving. Checkstops are there to enforce against all illegal behaviour and high-risk driving behaviours in order to keep everyone safe on the road.

“Enforcement is just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to making our roads safer,” says Inspector Marc Philippot, of the WPS Central Traffic Division. “Keeping our roadways safe this holiday season first starts with each of us making the choice to always plan for a safe ride home.  Please do your part.”

“The only number of drinks guaranteed to keep you safe behind the wheel is zero,” said Minister of Justice Matt Wiebe. “This holiday season, make the right choice, and make a plan to get home safely without driving impaired.  If you know you’ll be drinking, call a cab or Operation Red Nose, take the bus, or stay the night. Together, we can help keep Manitobans safe on our roads.”

"MADD stands firmly behind police check stop programs to swiftly intercept impaired drivers. These measures save lives and ensure safer roads for all during the holidays,” said Trevor Ens, President, MADD Manitoba.

“MPI has been a longstanding partner of police agencies in tackling the growing problem of impaired driving. Each year, Manitobans lose their lives, and dozens of others are seriously injured by the irresponsible choices made by those who decide to drive impaired,” said Satvir Jatana, MPI’s Chief Customer Officer. “Our message is simple – never drink and drive – even one or two is too many. We encourage all Manitobans to plan a safe ride home this holiday season.”

The Checkstop program will run throughout the month of December and both police agencies will provide the final tally of numbers when the program concludes.