Even though 2019 was a record low year for the number of people killed and injured in impaired driving collisions in the province, the work isn’t done.
It’s up to everyone to continue to bring impaired driving numbers in Saskatchewan even lower.
“Fewer deaths from impaired driving is positive news, of course, but the only acceptable number of impaired driving deaths is zero,” said Penny McCune, Chief Operating Officer of the Auto Fund. “Every single person who dies as a result of impaired driving has someone they leave behind and a story that wasn’t finished. If their story wasn’t done, then our job isn’t done either.”
That’s one reason law enforcement and SGI are focusing on impaired driving during the August Traffic Safety Spotlight. Most people in Saskatchewan have decided it’s simply not OK to drive impaired, but 21 people still lost their lives needlessly on Saskatchewan roads last year, and police have reported nearly 2,000* impaired driving offences in the first half of this year.
Impaired drivers face vehicle seizures, licence suspensions, steep financial penalties, along with possible jail time and a criminal record if convicted of driving impaired. More important than the penalties that come with getting caught are the human consequences: someone getting injured or killed as a result of an impaired driver’s actions.
What can you do?
- Always choose to #DriveSober, and never get in a vehicle with someone you believe is impaired by alcohol or drugs.
- Be a good wingman. Don’t let friends or family get behind the wheel impaired. Choose to be the designated driver.
- Plan a safe ride home before you start drinking and your judgment is impaired.
- Know the laws. Drinking alcohol or using drugs and then driving are both forms of impaired driving.
- Report impaired drivers and suspected impaired drivers by 9-1-1 through the RID program.
- Become aware of the impacts impaired driving has on not only the victims, but their families
First up – share something one of your favourite establishments does to prevent impaired driving. As much as stronger enforcement, legislation, and public awareness all play a part in changing impaired driving attitudes and behaviours in Saskatchewan, the hospitality industry also focuses on ensuring their patrons have a safe ride home. Whether they have safe ride options posted prominently, offer gift cards or free parking to those who leave their vehicle behind, or arrange your safe ride for you, tag them in the comments in pinned posts on SGI’s Facebook and/or Instagram and be entered to win some Be a Good Wingman gear (contest closes August 5, 2020 at midnight Saskatchewan time).
*From January to June of this year, there have been 1,988 impaired driving offences reported through the Traffic Safety Spotlights, including 1,691 Criminal Code charges. Not all charges result in convictions, and TSS results don’t necessarily include every charge laid by police.