SGI: Operation HandsFree traffic safety blitz focuses on cellphone use

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Nov. 15, 2011 – Police across the province will be on the lookout even more than usual for drivers talking or texting while driving on Nov. 17 and 18.

The two-day blitz, called Operation HandsFree, is the first of a new, province-wide co-ordinated approach to traffic safety created after a meeting of all traffic enforcement units in the province.

“By having all communities participate at the same time, these targeted blitzes will help SGI and law enforcement raise the profile of this and other traffic safety issues,” said Andrew Cartmell, President and CEO of SGI.

Each month, weather permitting, a provincial blitz will be held targeting a particular traffic safety issue. In the past, traffic blitzes were left up to individual traffic units throughout the province. The new, co-ordinated approach has been endorsed by the Saskatchewan Association of Chiefs of Police (SACP) and SGI.

“We’re very happy to be supporting this. We’ve seen collisions where cellphone use and other traffic safety violations were a factor and feel it’s good to have a targeted, province-wide approach,” said Chief Dale McFee, President of SACP.

Last year in Saskatchewan there were almost 8,500 collisions due to distracted driving, resulting in over 2,300 injuries and 60 deaths. SGI’s traffic safety research shows the vast majority of the Saskatchewan public – 92% – view talking or texting while driving as a major problem that is happening more frequently.

About SGI

SGI was created in 1945 and has evolved into two distinct operations. The Saskatchewan Auto Fund is the province’s compulsory auto insurance program, operating the driver’s licensing and vehicle registration system. SGI CANADA is the competitive arm of SGI, selling property and casualty insurance in seven provinces. http://www.sgi.sk.ca/