October Traffic Safety Spotlight on distracted driving: the solution – like the problem – is “out of hand”
Regina, SK (Oct. 1, 2019) – If the past four months are any indication, police across Saskatchewan will issue around 1,000 distracted driving tickets during the month of October – maybe more, since it’s the focus of this month’s Traffic Safety Spotlight.
The number of distracted drivers has gotten out of hand. Since most distracted driving tickets are for cellphone use while driving, keeping your phone “out of hand” is a great place to start if you want to avoid a ticket.
Despite the $280 fine, four demerits and vehicle impoundments for repeat offenders, too many drivers are still making it too easy for police to keep setting monthly records for distracted driving tickets.
“The provincial government is seriously looking at tougher penalties to deter this dangerous behaviour,” said Minister responsible for SGI Joe Hargrave. “So put the phone away, avoid other distractions and keep your focus on the road.”
Here are a few more tips to keep in mind:
- Do mount your phone on your dash or – better yet, stash it in the glovebox or backseat – so you keep your hands off it. Experienced drivers can use voice-activated functions. Learner and Novice drivers can’t use a phone at all.
- Don’t use your phone if you’re behind the wheel. Don’t hold it, look at it, or manipulate it. Not even at red lights.
- Do pull over to the side of the road and park your vehicle if there is a text you absolutely need to send or a call you need to make.
- Don’t text or talk while you are driving. If it’s on speakerphone and you’re holding it in front of your face while driving, that’s still going to get you a ticket.
- Do set the playlist, start the podcast, or program the GPS before the trip.
- Don’t watch Netflix, YouTube or videos, even if your phone is mounted.
- Do let your co-pilot have the phone and let them reply to messages and snap the selfies so you can keep your eyes on the road.
- Don’t scroll or engage with social media — that Snap, Like or Share can wait.
- Don’t pay more attention to your coffee, passengers, make-up, or lost item in your bag (see videos below) than the safe operation of your vehicle.
- Do #JustDrive.
Videos: Distracted Driving Kills
Easier Driving is Safer Driving
Even more important than avoiding a ticket is preventing a collision that could kill or injure someone. Driver distraction or inattention is one of the leading factors contributing to road fatalities and injuries.
Think about all the things that already demand your attention while you’re driving: maintaining speed, navigating your route, watching for pedestrians and other road users, making sure your vehicle is in the lane, obeying traffic signals and signs. Now imagine doing all that while splitting your attention between the road and a 11-centimetre screen.
Distracted driving is hard. Driving without distractions is much easier. Do give it a shot, so you don’t get a ticket. #TakeCareOutThere.
About SGI CANADA
SGI CANADA is the property and casualty insurance division of SGI, offering products in five Canadian provinces. It operates as SGI CANADA in Saskatchewan, British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, and Ontario, and also as Coachman Insurance Company in Ontario. Products are sold through a network of independent insurance brokers. For more information, visit www.sgicanada.ca.
Source: Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI)Tags: distracted driving, SGI