Distracted drivers continue to be an issue in the province but police have gotten a lot better at catching them.
"Ridiculously good in fact," SGI's Manager of Media Relations, Tyler McMurchy, "and the numbers from March bear that out. 711 distracted driving offences for a single month which in the short history of Traffic Safety Spotlights is a new record for distracted driving tickets."
"Unfortunately, some people do decide to drive while they are not fully paying attention to the task at hand. And many of those are cellphone tickets, 583 of those 711 tickets were related to cellphones."
"That shows that there are a number of people choosing to drive distracted out there and police have gotten very creative at catching them."
"Whether it's driving around in unmarked SUVs, riding around in a city bus, standing on a sidewalk at a busy intersection in plain clothes or using elevated vantage points to look down upon distracted drivers, police are ridiculously good at catching distracted drivers. And if you are on your phone, you will never see them coming."
Recently McMurchy went on a ride along with a member of the Regina Police Service and the officer caught quite a few distracted drivers and shared that the officer is very enthusiastic about catching distracted drivers.
"Because one of the things police know and I think it's important for the public to know, what a significant traffic safety concern it is. Distracted driving is the number one cause collisions. It's the number one cause of collision-related injuries and the number two cause of collision-related fatalities. Not only is it annoying to see someone on their phone, it is actually a traffic hazard."
In 2016, distracted driving was a factor in almost 8,300 collisions which caused the deaths of 42 people and more than 1,200 injuries.
"I think we all understand the temptation. You're sitting there at a red light and your phone makes a sound, you want to check out what that is. Well, we're asking people to be a part of the solution. Ignore the temptation and if they need help with that, toss the phone in the glove box, hand it to a friend, put it in their purse or the back seat or even the trunk if they need to. Keep it out of sight and out of mind so that your full attention is on the task of driving."
"It's important to remember that even if you are stopped at a red light if you are in control of that motor vehicle, you are not allowed to have that phone in your hand. You are not allowed to hold, use, manipulate or view a handheld electronic device while you are driving."
Experienced drivers can use dash-mounted electronic devices. However, those in the graduated licensing program, cannot use a cellphone at all while driving.
Distracted driving fines will cost you $280 and four demerit point on your license.
"And if you do it twice in one year, you get your vehicle impounded for a week."