SGI’s traffic safety focus last month was on impaired driving, leading to 330 drivers being caught driving impaired.
Those impaired driving offences led to 262 Criminal Code charges and 67 roadside suspensions.
SGI’s Tyler McMurchy says while impaired driving continues to be the leading cause of death on Saskatchewan’s roads, things are getting better, but there’s more to be done.
“We have seen impaired driving numbers trending downward over the long-term, one of the reasons for that though is the strong enforcement that we see month-in and month-out,” McMurchy said. “Every month when we report these traffic safety spotlights, you see between 300-450 impaired drivers caught. There are still people making that decision to drive impaired.”
McMurchy says it’s still too early to tell if recent changes to impaired driving enforcement penalties have made a difference.
“We know that other people may be more motivated by the fact that there’s more enforcement overall of impaired driving and traffic safety here in Saskatchewan, and some people might also be motivated by maybe awareness efforts that are undertaken by SGI, government, police, and by other organizations like MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) and SADD (Students Against Drunk Driving).”
Suspended drivers and unregistered vehicles also a focus for law enforcement in February
Police across Saskatchewan also caught 409 suspended or disqualified drivers in the month of February, and also issued 459 tickets for driving an unregistered vehicle. Each of those tickets come at a cost starting at $580.
McMurchy says some suspended drivers face their consequences due to impaired driving.
“There’s a number of other reasons you can be suspended from driving, but the reason that we wanted to focus on suspended drivers as part of the traffic safety spotlight is because it is a safety issue,” McMurchy said. “If you are driving while suspended, you’re doing something that you’ve been told not to do, and people don’t get suspended for no reason.”
The traffic safety spotlight for March is drowsy or distracted driving. In February, 664 tickets were issued for distracted driving, including 585 involving a cell phone.