SGI focuses on distracted driving for August traffic spotlight | Canadian

SGI is focusing on distracted driving for the month of August as it says distraction is responsible for one in five collision-related injuries in Saskatchewan.

According to a media release, offenders face a $580 ticket and four demerits for holding, using, manipulating or viewing a handheld cellphone while driving or driving without due care and attention. Repeat offences within one year result in significantly higher ticket costs, such as $1,400 for a second ticket and $2,100 for a third offence, as well as a seven-day vehicle impoundment.

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“A distracted driver is a threat to everyone on the road,” said Barbara Cross, chief operating officer of SGI Auto Fund. “Traffic lights, pedestrians, speed limits and other drivers are just a few of the factors drivers need to be aware of when driving. When your attention is elsewhere, these can be missed.”

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SGI stated that scrolling through and posting to your social media channels is not a priority when you’re driving. In fact, it’s not even an option. The penalties are stiff because distracted driving is an all-too-common safety hazard on the province’s roads and highways.

From 2017 to 2021, an average of 780 people were injured each year in collisions caused by driver distraction and inattention on Saskatchewan roads. SGI said that’s one out of every five auto vehicle injuries. Distracted driving also results in an average of 21.6 fatalities per year.

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“Eliminate distractions before you start driving,” stated SGI. “Respond to texts, check your notifications, make sure your passengers (young children, pets) are safely secured so you can solely focus on driving once you’re in motion.”

SGI warned that police across Saskatchewan will be looking for drivers using their cellphones or distracted in other ways.

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