Last month, we said that distracted driving wasn’t a good look on anyone. Staring down at the phone on your lap, chomping down on a sloppy burger, applying mascara while driving, … none of these activities are particularly, well, charming – or safe.
A total of 793 distracted driving offences were reported by police in October, including 688 cellphone tickets and 105 tickets for driving without due care and attention. That’s the highest number of distracted driving offences ever reported in a single month in the history of Traffic Safety Spotlights.
On one hand, these results tell us how good police are at catching distracted drivers. Just ask Cst. Mike “Hawkeye” Seel of the Regina Police Service, who let us join him on a distracted driving ridealong last month. He’s personally written more than 1,000 tickets for distracted driving this year!
On the other hand, it’s clear that if so many people weren’t driving distracted, police wouldn’t be writing as many tickets as they do.
Despite the strong enforcement by police – and despite the $280 fine, four demerits under SGI’s Safe Driver Recognition program,and one-week vehicle seizures for a second cellphone ticket within a year – these record numbers show that there are still a lot of drivers paying attention to something other than the safe operation of their vehicle.
Distracted driving remains the number one human factor of all traffic collisions. We don’t know about you, but that’s not a number one that we should be proud of. In 2017, it was a factor in more than 6,000 collisions, contributing to the deaths of 26 people and more than 950 injuries.
Can’t leave your phone alone? Toss it in your purse, glovebox, backseat, or even in the trunk. Put it on Do Not Disturb or Airplane mode, and #JustDrive. That way, you’ll keep fellow road users safe and save yourself some cash.
Law enforcement also reported the following offences as part of the monthly Traffic Safety Spotlight*:
- 6,892 tickets for speeding/aggressive driving
- 318 impaired driving offences, including 279 Criminal Code charges
- 394 tickets regarding seatbelts/car seats
Police continue to focus on suspended drivers and unregistered vehicles throughout November. Please remember that you need a valid driver’s licence, registration and insurance to legally drive a motor vehicle on public roads in Saskatchewan. #DoNotRiskIt.
* Includes all traffic safety focus results for October 2018 submitted by police as of November 21, 2018.