The provincial government have introduced five new pilot projects with the intention to bring down the number of impaired drivers in Saskatchewan.
"I think what is exciting to me," shared Minister Responsible for Innovation Saskatchewan Tina Clip Beaudry- Mellor, "is that there are people from multiple ministries working together with crown corporations, with graduate students, and with law enforcement from a number of areas, who are trying to collaborate, trying to incubate ideas, come up with things that are innovative and then accelerate those. Then we'll test to what works and what doesn't and try to implement on a broader scale those that work."
The projects are: Drive Dollars (Innovation Saskatchewan)
"In this project, bar patrons will be asked (as they order drinks) if they would like to put a small amount of money toward a “tab” for a taxi. This amount of money will be matched in part by the provincial government. The project will gather data and assess whether a small matching contribution by the government would increase the likelihood of bar patrons planning ahead for a safe ride home."
Liquor Permit Regulatory Review (Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority)
"This project added two questions to the liquor permit application, to prompt applicants to develop a plan for guests to have a safe ride home."
Positive Ticketing (SGI)
"The project aim is for police officers to give a “positive ticket” to sober/designated drivers at scheduled police check stops and/or routine traffic stops. The tickets will encourage recipients to speak about their experience on social media using the hashtag #CareAboutImpaired. Ticket recipients who use the hashtag publicly will be eligible to win one of 25 $150 VISA gift cards."
Sobering Messages (Ministry of Corrections and Policing)
"This project is focused on impact messaging through a couple of streams."
"Community Engagement: having police officers visit local bars and pubs to encourage patrons to plan ahead and plan a safe ride home."
"Social Media Campaign building awareness around and promoting responsible use: the social media handles on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook are @Sask0804 using the #howareyougettinghome (Sask0804 refers to the August long weekend date as well as the impairment levels under the criminal code)."
Packaging Innovation (Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority)
"This project involves placing children’s drawings on brown liquor store bags, to get people to consider and discuss the consequences of impaired driving."
The project results will be analyzed once the pilot project has been completed to understand what initiatives have the best potential to bring down the numbers of impaired drivers in Saskatchewan when rolled out on a larger scale.