Thursday, 30 June 2016 04:15

SGI continues to offer spotlights: unfortunately, May was bad for impaired driving

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May was not a good month for those who fight against drinking and driving.


Kelley Brinkworth, manager, media relations and communications with Saskatchewan Government Insurance, says there were 359 impaired-driving related offences during May in what SGI labelled as the “province-wide traffic safety spotlight on impaired driving.”
The monthly spotlight is all about telling drivers about the dangers of drinking and driving including not only causing danger to others around them, but in the personal cost with fines, losing driving privileges and the subsequent, related penalties.
“We are really trying to raise the awareness of the dangers with each of the spotlights,” explained Brinkworth in an interview June 24.
 Included in the  359 impaired-driving related offences were three zero Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) offences (applies to new drivers with any BAC level); five low BAC offences (applies to experienced drivers with a BAC ranging from .04 to .08) and 351 Criminal Code charges such as high BAC (exceeding .08), impaired driving or refusing a breath test.
In addition, there were 5,616 speeding/aggressive driving offences, 325 distracted driving offences (225 of those for cellphone use) and 450 seatbelt, car seat or booster seat violations throughout the month.
Brinkworth wasn’t sure why numbers were so high although she says the addition of the Combined Traffic Services Saskatchewan (CTSS) may have assisted in the increase because of more law enforcement on the roads.
In speaking to the impaired driving-related incidents specifically, while some may think it’s a high number, it’s actually comparable to other numbers. For example in May 2015, for the same previous-mentioned targeted offences there were 131 offences.
Brinkworth says it’s hard to get a quantitative answer in regards to whether the targeting of a different offence is making a difference or if the message is getting through.
She says all SGI officials can do is to try and continue to offer and tips and hope the message gets shared amongst all drivers.
For example, SGI is highlighting drivers being prepared and taking precautions. Brinkworth pointed out for example that there is no reason for drinking and driving.
“There has to be a level of taking some responsibility by the individual,” explains Brinkworth. “Plan in advance. The decision has to be made before you get there because once you’re there and drinking, your level of judgement is gone. Take turns (being the designated driver) for driving home, call your mom, whatever.”
View more information about impaired driving and its dangerous consequences online. Follow SGI on Facebook and Twitter for safety tips to #TakeCareOutThere.
Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) is the province’s self-sustaining auto insurance fund.

Read 1050 times Last modified on Thursday, 30 June 2016 04:30
Ryan Dahlman

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