Put down your phone and focus on the road ahead. Based on the results of October’s Traffic Safety Spotlight on distracted driving, it’s a message worth repeating.
Last month, 658 people were caught not paying attention to the road and issued tickets for a distracted driving offence. Of those, 538 were for cell phone use, while 120 were for driving without due care and attention.
This is a significant drop from the all-time Traffic Safety Spotlight record set in October of last year, and all the drivers who decided NOT to drive distracted deserve credit for the reduction. But 658 distracted driving offences is still a number that is higher than it should be.
SGI continues to encourage drivers to change their bad habits on the road. This month, you may see or hear SGI’s powerful new distracted driving awareness campaign that encourages drivers to focus on the road ahead, because everything else can wait.
Stories like those featured in the campaign should be enough to deter people from picking up their phone while driving. Anyone who needs further convincing should keep in mind that a distracted driving ticket starts at $580 and four demerit points and the penalties increase for repeat offences, including vehicle impoundments.
Distracted driving is a serious safety concern on Saskatchewan roads. In 2019, distracted driving contributed to 16 deaths and more than 4,500 collisions.
When you’re driving, #JustDrive. Put your phone out of sight, hand it over to your passenger, turn on the “do not disturb” function, or finalize your plans before you start to drive. These are just a few ways you can avoid distracted driving and arrive safely at your destination.
Other results reported by police in October include:
437 impaired driving offences, including 352 Criminal Code charges
6,906 tickets for speeding/aggressive driving
403 improper seatbelt or child restraint use
November’s Traffic Safety Spotlight is on catching suspended drivers and unregistered vehicles. You can find more information here.