Distracted driving is the traffic safety spotlight for the month of February.
Police across the province will be watching for people using cellphones to talk, text, email or surf the internet while driving. They will also be on the lookout for people driving without due care and attention, due to distractions such as eating, putting on makeup, or programming a GPS, which can take a driver’s focus off the road. Not only will drivers receive a ticket, their vehicle will be seized if they are a repeat offender.
Distracted driving remains the number one contributing factor of collisions in Saskatchewan, and a top contributing factor in fatal crashes. In 2014, there were more than 3,900 distracted driving collisions, killing 27 people and injuring more than 700 others.
The only thing you should be doing behind the wheel is driving,” said Earl Cameron, Vice President of the Auto Fund. “It only takes a second for the unthinkable to happen – focus your attention on the task of driving to help keep everyone on the road safe.”
SGI recommends drivers follow these tips to help prevent distraction behind the wheel:
- #HeadsUp. Keep your eyes on the road, not on your phone.
- Have a passenger answer calls or texts for you. If you’re by yourself, put your phone out of reach so you’re not tempted to use it.
- Pull over safely to the side of the road if you must send a text or take a call.
- Wait until you reach your destination to eat, drink or groom. Pull over safely to the side of the road if you can’t wait.
- Limit emotional conversations with passengers so you can focus on your driving.
- Program your GPS, radio, etc. before you go, or wait until you’re stopped to do it.
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 nearly 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.
Manager of Media Relations