711 offences set yet another Traffic Safety Spotlight record for distracted driving
Cruising through traffic in unmarked SUVs. Plainclothes officers on sidewalks. Watching from elevated vantage points overlooking busy thoroughfares. Operation Bus Cop.
Those are some of the tactics Saskatchewan police used to catch distracted drivers during the March Traffic Safety Spotlight.
It worked… ridiculously well, in fact. A total of 711 distracted driving offences were reported by police last month, including 583 cellphone tickets. That’s the highest number for distracted driving ever reported in a single month in the history of Traffic Safety Spotlights.
It’s a safe bet that each of those 711 people would have rather spent $280 on something other than a ticket.
Despite that substantial fine, four demerits under SGI’s Safe Driver Recognition program, and a potential one-week vehicle impoundment for a second cellphone ticket in a year, these record numbers show that some people just aren’t getting the message.
Distracted driving is the leading cause of all traffic collisions. In 2016, it was a factor in nearly 8,300 collisions contributing to the deaths of 42 people and more than 1,200 injuries.
Want to be part of the solution? Put the phone away. Toss it in your purse, glovebox, backseat, or even in the trunk. Keep it out of sight and out of mind, so that your full attention is on the task of driving. That way, you’ll keep fellow road users safe and save yourself $280.
Law enforcement also reported the following offences as part of the monthly Traffic Safety Spotlight*:
• 4,267 tickets for speeding/aggressive driving
• 329 impaired driving offences, including 282 Criminal Code charges
• 320 tickets regarding seatbelts/car seats
Have you heard SGI’s new distracted driving radio ads yet? SGI is currently running ads throughout the year reminding drivers of the importance of putting aside distractions and just focusing on the road: Be part of the movement. Be part of the change. When you’re behind the wheel, #JustDrive.
Police continue to focus on speeding and aggressive driving throughout April. Remember: speeding fines are increasing as of May 1. The base fine on all speeding tickets will increase by $30 and the km/h charge for travelling in excess of the posted speed will double. Save your cash and #SlowDown