SaskTel and SGI promote safe cell phone habits to new drivers

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August, 2007 – Starting Sept. 1, SaskTel and SGI are partnering to help new drivers develop safe cell phone habits by offering six months of free SaskTel Mini Mail voice messaging service to new drivers who are also SaskTel cellular customers.

This free service will help to minimize distractions on the road by automatically routing incoming calls to voice mail, allowing the driver to check messages and return calls when it’s safe to do so.

“As Saskatchewan’s leading communications service provider, SaskTel takes its responsibility to the communities in which we live and work very seriously,” says the Minister Responsible for SaskTel Deb Higgins. “By promoting safe cell phone habits, SaskTel hopes to reduce the number of young drivers involved in collisions.”

On average, young Saskatchewan drivers 15 to 18 years of age are involved in 1,350 collisions per year involving driver distraction, resulting in an average of 504 injuries and two deaths per year. While young drivers make up only seven per cent of all licensed drivers in the province, they represent 16 per cent of all distracted drivers in collisions.

“Talking on a cell phone while driving represents one of many driver distractions that are contributing to collisions on Saskatchewan’s roads,” says the Minister Responsible for SGI Harry Van Mulligen. “Helping new drivers avoid distractions while behind the wheel is extremely important in our ongoing efforts to get all drivers’ attention back on the road.”

To take advantage of this offer, new drivers will receive an offer letter after they have passed their road test. The letter and driver’s licence need to be taken into a SaskTel Authorized Cellular dealer within 90 days to activate Mini Mail. For more information about this offer, customers can contact SaskTel, toll free, at 1-800-667-2355.