Traffic Safety Spotlight

SGI and Saskatchewan Law Enforcement services placed a spotlight on Impaired driving during the month of October.

“With the recent tragedies in the province, SGI and Saskatchewan law enforcement are putting additional focus on impaired driving,” Minister responsible for SGI Joe Hargrave said. “Too many people are needlessly killed or injured due to impaired driving and it has to stop. Don’t risk your life or the lives of others. Always plan a safe ride home.”

Throughout the month, police across the province were on the watch for drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Police also kept an eye out for distracted drivers, as well as other unsafe driving behaviours such as speeding and failing to wear a seatbelt. SGI raised awareness of the dangers of impaired driving through advertising and social media promotion.

Preliminary numbers for 2015 show 53 people were killed and 562 others were injured in Saskatchewan in crashes related to impaired driving. In 2015, 44% of traffic fatalities in the province involved alcohol or drug use.

Follow these tips to help keep our roads free of impaired drivers:

  • Plan a safe ride home before you start drinking and your judgment is impaired.
  • Know the laws. Consequences for impaired driving begin at a blood alcohol content of 0 for new drivers and .04 for experienced drivers.
  • Don’t let your friends or family drive impaired. Take away their keys, offer to call them a cab or safe ride service, or let them stay the night.
  • Volunteer to be the designated driver. Take turns with your friends or coworkers.
  • Don’t get into a vehicle with someone you know has been drinking or using drugs.
  • Call 911 to report suspected impaired drivers to police.

“You may think it could never happen to you, or you only had a few drinks and you feel fine, or you’re a good driver and won’t crash,” Hargrave said. “But the reality is, it can happen to you. Think about other people on the road and the loved ones they want to get home to. Impaired driving isn’t worth the risk. The only true safe blood alcohol content while driving is zero.”

Consequences for impaired driving in Saskatchewan are serious and include immediate roadside licence suspensions and vehicle seizures, mandatory ignition interlock in some cases, education requirements such as completing a Driving Without Impairment course, fines and even jail time. See the attached media backgrounder for details.

Visit SGI’s website at http://www.sgi.sk.ca for more information about impaired driving and its consequences. Follow SGI on Facebook and Twitter for tips safety tips to #TakeCareOutThere. Use SGI’s free Safe Ride app to keep track of your safe ride options.

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