A virtual look at the reality of impaired driving

New VR simulator asks you to make the choice and face the consequences

May Traffic Spotlight on impaired driving

Regina, SK (Mar. 23, 2018) — As students across the province get ready for graduation season, police across Saskatchewan will be focusing on impaired driving for the May Traffic Safety Spotlight.

To drive home the negative impacts of both alcohol and drug-impaired driving, SGI has a new virtual reality simulator which will be used in demonstrations by SGI’s Traffic Safety Promotion team at schools, community events and trade shows.

In one scenario, you walk into a house party in full swing, and chat with a new friend who’s been using marijuana. Some other people at the party are in a hurry to leave for a concert. Who you choose to leave the party with will impact you for a lot longer than just tonight, and whether you end up as a passenger or a driver, you’re about to get up close and personal with the reality of impaired driving.

SPOILER ALERT: Most scenarios end in an emergency room with a tragic outcome.

“While this is a simulation, it vividly demonstrates the very real and sad consequences of impaired driving,” said Penny McCune, Chief Operating Officer of the Auto Fund. “Marijuana will be legalized in the not-too-distant future, and the virtual reality simulator is another tool we have to help people understand that a single bad decision on a night out can affect you for the rest of your life.”

The VR simulator also has scenarios related to distracted driving and speeding.

On Saskatchewan roads, more people are killed by impaired driving than by any other cause. In 2016, 57 people lost their lives and 464 were injured in collisions involving alcohol or drugs.

Saskatchewan has some of the toughest impaired driving laws in the country with licence suspensions, vehicle seizures and mandatory ignition interlock for convicted impaired drivers. That’s on top of fines, jail time and driving restrictions imposed by the courts.

Federal and provincial legislation has been introduced and is expected to be passed this year to deal with drug-impaired driving. Federal Bill C-46, currently with the Senate, adds three new offences to the Criminal Code related to drug-impaired driving. The provincial government introduced legislation in November taking a zero-tolerance stance against drug-impaired driving. The legislation ensures Saskatchewan’s tough administrative licence suspensions and vehicle seizure penalties also apply to people charged under the incoming federal laws.

Here are some tips to help you make the choice to #DriveSober:

  • Be A Good Wingman, and don’t let impaired friends and family drive. Offer to be the designated driver, call them a safe ride or let them stay over.
  • Arrange a limo, party bus or shuttle for your grad group.
  • Parents – talk about the dangers of impaired driving with your children. Encourage them to call you if they find themselves in a situation where they’re with an impaired driver or are too impaired to drive.
  • Remember that impaired is impaired: alcohol and drugs are both factors in impaired driving, and mixing them impacts impairment levels significantly.
  • Just because we are heading toward legalized pot, that doesn’t make it harmless: don’t mix drugs and driving.


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. For more information, visit www.sgicanada.ca.


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