January blitz to highlight seatbelts and cellphones
Jan. 15, 2013
Two of the main contributing factors to traffic fatalities, non-seatbelt use and distracted driving, are once again the focus of this month's traffic safety blitz, which will take place Jan. 17 and 18 province-wide.
“We're now starting to see distracted driving play more of a role in fatal collisions, so this month's blitz will once again focus on the dangers of cellphone use behind the wheel, as well as other forms of distracted driving,” said Andrew Cartmell, President and CEO of SGI. “While wearing a seatbelt won't prevent a collision, it can save your life. More than one-third of all fatalities involve non-seatbelt use, and our goal is to see those numbers come down.”
Distracted driving, which includes cellphone use, contributes to more than 9,400 collisions each year on average, and is a factor in 50 fatalities on Saskatchewan roads. Non-seatbelt use contributes to about 55 fatalities each year1.
“Winter in Saskatchewan can present challenges on the roads and motorists need to be ready to react quickly to these conditions at all times, “ said Chief Superintendent Brenda Butterworth-Carr, Officer in Charge, Criminal Operations "F" Division, RCMP on behalf of A/Commissioner Russ Mirasty, Commanding Officer, RCMP "F" Division. “We need drivers to take that responsibility seriously and give the task of driving the attention it deserves. Having all of us operate vehicles without distraction results in all motorists being safer on the roads.”
Law enforcement also wants to remind motorists of some basic winter driving safety tips. By completely clearing windows, windshields, headlights and taillights of snow and ice before driving, motorists can ensure they have a better view of the roads and that other vehicles can see them. Tickets can be issued for these types of obscured vision as well.
Last month's traffic safety blitz focused on impaired driving and took place throughout the entire month of December. During the blitz, law enforcement checked more than 8,600 vehicles and issued more than 2,400 tickets, including 217 charges for impaired driving and 188 roadside suspensions.
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.