January 21, 2016 by Canadian Underwriter
Saskatchewan’s self-sustaining auto insurance fund announced said on Thursday that more than 300 impaired drivers were stopped by police during December’s province-wide traffic safety spotlight on impaired driving.
In total, Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) said in a press release, there were 308 offences related to alcohol or drug use throughout the month, including 300 Criminal Code charges related to high blood alcohol content (BAC), impaired driving or refusing a breath test. Eight offences related to low BAC offences: drivers with a BAC ranging from .04 to .08.
Law enforcement officers also issued 3,124 tickets for speeding/aggressive driving, 145 tickets for distracted driving (95 of those for cellphone use) and 229 occupant restraint tickets. The statistics include all traffic safety focus results for December submitted by police as of Jan. 15.
The release noted that Saskatchewan introduced tougher impaired driving laws in 2014, including longer licence suspensions, immediate roadside vehicle impoundments and mandatory ignition interlock for convicted impaired drivers. There is now also zero drug and alcohol tolerance for drivers under 19 years of age, and for all drivers in the Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) program and Motorcycle GDL program.
SGI – which operates 21 claims centres and five salvage centres across Saskatchewan, with a head office in Regina – said last month that there are more than 1,300 collisions on average each year in Saskatchewan that involve alcohol and/or other drugs. These collisions – based on the five-year average from 2010 to 2014 (with 2014 data being preliminary) – result in an average of 58 deaths and 656 injuries.