Operation HandsFree a success
November 22, 2011
Last week 207 drivers were fined for cellphone use during a province-wide traffic blitz.
Operation HandsFree, held Nov. 17 and 18, had traffic enforcement officers watching for drivers talking or texting with a hand-held cellphone and raising public awareness of how dangerous it is.
"The extensive media coverage this operation received combined with the enforcement effort of provincial police authorities made this a very successful operation in terms of heightening public awareness of both the dangers and financial consequences of using cellphones while driving," said Andrew Cartmell, President and CEO of SGI.
Law enforcement issued a total of 663 traffic tickets, including the 207 tickets specifically for cellphone use. Other fines were given out for not wearing a seatbelt, tinted and obstructed windows, and other forms of distracted driving.
"We're pleased to see that this first coordinated province-wide blitz garnered so much attention. Raising awareness is a large component of improving traffic safety in every Saskatchewan community. We hope to see similar positive results in future blitzes," said Chief Dale McFee, outgoing President of the Saskatchewan Association of Chiefs of Police (SACP).
Operation HandsFree was the first of a new, province-wide co-ordinated approach to traffic safety blitzes created after a meeting of all traffic enforcement units in the province. A provincial blitz will be held each month targeting a particular traffic safety issue.
Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) is the province's self-sustaining auto insurance fund. SGI operates 21 claims centres and five salvage centres across Saskatchewan with a head office in Regina. SGI also works with a network of over 400 motor licence issuers across the province. Customers can now do some transactions online. Look for the MySGI link under Online Services on your motor licence issuer's website or SGI's website.
Any media looking for local results for Operation HandsFree are encouraged to contact their community’s law enforcement agency.
Manager of Media Relations
Saskatchewan Government Insurance