Police focus on impaired driving throughout December
Dec. 3, 2014
The traffic safety spotlight for December is impaired driving. Law enforcement across the province will be increasing resources and paying extra attention to drivers impaired by either alcohol or other drugs.
“The holidays are almost here and people will be getting together with friends, families and co-workers to celebrate the festive season,” said Andrew Cartmell, President and CEO of SGI. “It’s important to plan for a safe ride home if you will be drinking alcohol this holiday season to ensure not only your own safety, but that of others sharing the road.”
Impaired driving remains a top contributing factor in fatal collisions in Saskatchewan. In 2013, it was the number one killer on our roads - 29% of all fatalities were alcohol or drug-related. During the holiday season alone (Dec. 1, 2013 to Jan. 3, 20141), there were 109 alcohol/drug-involved collisions province-wide, resulting in 39 injuries.
“You may think you’ve had only a couple drinks, or you’re not that impaired - but if you have to convince yourself you’re okay to drive, you’re probably not,” said Cartmell. “Don’t put your life or anyone else’s at risk. Make a conscious decision to not drink and drive.”
There are many options to get home safely: choose a designated driver in advance, call a cab, call a friend or family member to pick you up, use a designated driving service, take the bus or call Operation Red Nose in Regina, Saskatoon, Prince Albert and The Battlefords. SGI also has a free SafeRide app to help you keep track of your options.
Earlier this year, SGI implemented several recommendations made by the all-party Special Committee on Traffic Safety to make our roads and highways safer. Saskatchewan now has tougher penalties for driving while impaired by alcohol or other drugs, including:
- Zero drug and alcohol tolerance for drivers under 19 years of age, and for all drivers in the Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) program and Motorcycle GDL program.
- Drug-impaired drivers are subject to the same sanctions as alcohol-impaired drivers.
- Strengthened administrative sanctions for drinking and driving, based on driver experience and number of offences, including mandatory ignition interlock for convicted impaired drivers and immediate roadside vehicle seizures.
SGI also wants to remind drivers that the Report Impaired Drivers (RID) program is still in force across the province year-round. If you see a driver you think is impaired, pull over safely or have a passenger call 911.
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.