With the long weekend here, people are travelling more.
"Long weekends mean increased traffic on the highways and a greater risk of getting into a collision and of course your collision risk nearly doubles if you are driving impaired. Whether you're driving to see your family or heading to the lake or heading into Region for the Labor Day classic, we want to make sure that for everybody heading out on the roads that it is a safe long weekend," explained Tyler McMurchy with SGI.
"A big part of that is of course driving sober. With Saskatchewan's tough new laws we know that penalties for impaired driving start at 0.04 blood alcohol content, there are 3 day vehicle impoundments and license suspensions. We're just asking people if their long weekend plans involve having a few drinks, make sure they plan a safe ride home or plan to stay the night. If you see a friend or a loved one who has been impaired by alcohol or drugs make sure they don't get behind the wheel, we're just asking everybody to be a good wing man and make sure that everybody gets home safe."
Distracted driving is another safety issue that people should be aware of.
"People may not realize this but distracted driving is a huge traffic safety concern in the province of Saskatchewan, the number 2 factor in fatal vehicle collisions and the number 1 factor in collision related injuries. We always tell people that you're controlling thousands of pounds of glass and steel, so that deserves your full attention. Leave that phone alone, avoid other distractions like loud music or people being disruptive in the car," he stated.
"Nobody has ever had a text message that is worth $280 and that money is the fine that you'll face if you are ticketed for driving distracted, there's also 4 demerit points on your license which will cost you additional insurance discounts or if you're in that penalty zone will mean an additional financial penalty. It is just not worth it to drive distracted."
In July SGI celebrated the 40th birthday of the Saskatchewan seat belt law.
"That law has evolved over the years but what people need to know is that seat belts are mandatory for everyone and we do have enforced rules for people who are travelling with children. Children under the age of 7 and under 80 pounds need to be in a booster seat, if your child is under 40 pounds they need to be in that five point restraint child seat," expressed McMurchy.
"The other thing to remember is while seat belt use is generally high in Saskatchewan more than 90% of people regularly wear their seat belts, there are still close to 4,000 tickets issued in the past year related to not properly wearing your seat belt and not wearing your seat belt at all. We also know that people not wearing seat belts are highly over represented in fatal collisions. Last year 27% of vehicle occupant fatalities, somebody wasn't restrained properly meaning they weren't wearing their seat belt properly or they weren't wearing one at all."
People should also keep in mind that there is never a need to speed.
"We like to say it's the long weekend, you've got plenty of time to get there so slow down and enjoy the ride. We know that in Saskatchewan there are construction zones all over the place this summer so it's especially important to watch out for people in construction zones. Watch your speed in construction zones when workers are present because those speeding fines triple, those speeding tickets are quite expensive if you are caught in a construction zone," he shared.
"More importantly though we want to make sure that people who are working in those zones are safe and that they make it home to their family. Another important thing to remember is giving the time of year we're looking at which is harvest, there may be more farm equipment out on the road so again we advise motorists to slow down and give themselves plenty of space between themselves and the farmers who might be moving their equipment from field to field using the roads or highways that we've got up here in Saskatchewan."