2023 has been a challenging year for Manitoba RCMP as they deal with more fatal crashes than normal.

Media Relations Officer Sgt. Paul Manaigre says they're doing whatever they can to try and remind people to be safe when behind the wheel. He notes they've been crunching the data and people are not putting safety first.

"We're certainly well above those numbers and it's been frustrating," says Manaigre. "We've been putting out the same message, over and over, that people need to take their time, not drink and drive, not speed, don't use a cell phone. There's the four high-risk driving behaviours that we keep pushing, that we're able to identify as, a lot of times, one of the causes of the collisions."

The other high-risk driving behaviour involves not wearing a seatbelt.

Looking at the numbers year-to-date, there have been 59 collisions resulting in 83 road fatalities. Last year, there were 49 collisions and 52 deaths.

"10 more collisions, but 31 more fatalities, so, that's a sharp increase. That's why we're keep putting that message out. The media has been doing a great job with it, but we're still seeing a lot of collisions where alcohol is usually the primary factor," stresses Manaigre. "That's where people have to get that message. Drinking and driving doesn't mix and you're still seeing those numbers proving it to us."

Sgt. Manaigre believes some people still have the attitude of 'it won't happen to me'. He hopes everyone heading out for the long weekend will remember that it can happen to them, and he desparately hopes it won't.