Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) said on Monday that distracted driving is the traffic safety spotlight for the month of February.
Police across the province will be watching for people using cellphones to talk, text, email or surf the Internet while driving, SGI said in a press release. Police will also be on the lookout for people driving without due care and attention, due to distractions such as eating, putting on makeup, or programming a GPS, which can take a driver’s focus off the road. Not only will drivers receive a ticket, their vehicle will be seized if they are a repeat offender, SGI said.
Distracted driving remains the number one contributing factor to collisions in Saskatchewan and a top contributing factor in fatal crashes, SGI said. In 2014, there were more than 3,900 distracted driving collisions, killing 27 people and injuring more than 700 others.
“The only thing you should be doing behind the wheel is driving,” said Earl Cameron, vice president of SGI’s Auto Fund. “It only takes a second for the unthinkable to happen – focus your attention on the task of driving to help keep everyone on the road safe.”
SGI recommends drivers follow these tips to help prevent distraction behind the wheel:
• Keep eyes on the road, not on a phone;
• Have a passenger answer calls or texts. If alone, put the phone out of reach so there is no temptation to use it;
• Pull over safely to the side of the road to send a text or take a call;
• Eat, drink or groom after reaching the destination. Pull over safely to the side of the road if the need is immediate;
• Limit emotional conversations with passengers to focus on driving; and
• Program GPS, radio, etc. before leaving or wait until stopped to do it.