Encouraging, but mixed results in SAAQ's annual road safety report

Fewer people died or got seriously hurt in traffic accidents in 2016 in Quebec, according to the auto insurance board's latest report.

The SAAQ's report, out Tuesday morning, shows a total of 351 people were killed in road accidents in the province in 2016 — down 3 per cent from 2015.

Serious injuries were down more than 6 percent, to 1,456.

Among those aged 15 to 24, road deaths are down for a fourth consecutive year — a dramatic 12.7 per cent decrease from the year before.

The news isn't all good, however — there was a dramatic 40 per cent jump in the number of pedestrian deaths in 2016. 63 pedestrians died, 242 were seriously hurt, and nearly 2,500 pedestrians suffered minor injuries.

Deaths involving motorcyclists were up 7.6 per cent, while deaths involving cyclists decreased slightly — by 1.1 per cent.

The SAAQ says this is the second-best annual report in terms of road casualties in 70 years.

In the last five years, road deaths are down more than 10 per cent, while among those in the 15-24 age bracket, deaths on the roads have been cut in half.