Police watching for distracted drivers in August
August 5, 2014
Distracted driving, the number one contributing factor in crashes in Saskatchewan, is the traffic safety spotlight for the month of August.
Police across the province will be on the lookout for drivers using their cellphones to talk or text while driving, and those driving without due care and attention.
"You hear your cellphone ring or the ping of an incoming text, and it's tempting to answer," said Andrew Cartmell, President and CEO of SGI. "Not only is it against the law, but it's incredibly unsafe, so if you must send a text or take a call, pull over safely to the side of the road before doing so."
In 20131, there were 5,677 collisions related to distracted driving, resulting in 31 deaths and 1,977 injuries.
The fine for violating cellphone or driving without due care and attention legislation is $280 and results in four demerit points under SGI's Safe Driver Recognition program. Depending where you sit on the safety rating scale, you may also have to pay a financial penalty or lose insurance discounts.
With the new traffic laws now in effect, drivers also face vehicle seizures of seven days on a second or subsequent offence for cellphone use and seven days on a third or subsequent offence for driving without due care and attention. Between June 27-July 15, three people had their vehicle seized for using a cellphone while driving.
Motorists are reminded that cellphone legislation allows experienced drivers to use hands-free devices while driving, but new drivers (those in the Graduated Driver’s Licensing program) can not. SGI recommends that even when using hands-free devices, you still safely pull over.
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.