SGI Seatbelt Challenge returns to southwest Saskatchewan
April 10, 2012
SGI is challenging communities in rural and northern Saskatchewan to buckle up in an effort to improve seatbelt use.
Each year, in various communities across the province, the SGI Seatbelt Challenge encourages people to buckle up through public awareness activities such as offering rewards to individuals spotted wearing their seatbelts, engaging community members to conduct seatbelt-related activities and distributing posters.
Two roadside surveys measuring seatbelt usage rates will take place in each participating community. The community in each region with the highest percentage of positive change between surveys will earn up to $50,000 to be used for local road safety improvements.
On average in Saskatchewan, 60 per cent of fatalities on rural roads and 75 per cent of fatalities on First Nations roads involve unbelted occupants.
"Seatbelts save lives," said Shannon Ell, Manager of Traffic Safety Promotion at SGI. "We tend to see lower seatbelt use on rural and First Nations roads, and partnering with these communities to promote and reward seatbelt use allows us to raise awareness about the importance of buckling up."
This year, five communities in the southeast area of the province, six in the southwest and eight northern communities will challenge each other to buckle up. In the southwest, these communities are Assiniboia, Eastend, Gravelbourg, Gull Lake, Maple Creek and Shaunavon.
Roadside activities are planned to kick-off the challenge in each community beginning late April and continuing through May, with the winners being announced in late fall.
"Since this program began, almost all of the communities participating in the challenge have seen an increase in seatbelt usage each year," Ell said. "We are confident we will see this success again this year."
The SGI Seatbelt Challenge began in 2008, and has occurred in 39 communities. Past funding has resulted in projects such as permanent seatbelt signs in Onion Lake, pedestrian crossing signs in Kindersley, a cement sidewalk in Wadena, extra gravel on roads and traffic signs in Muscowpetung, gravel for roads in English River and an LED road sign in Mistawasis.
Information can be found in the Road safety section of the website about the Rural seatbelt challenge.
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.