Regina, Saskatchewan -- December 2, 2013 -- The Saskatchewn government is introducing legislation focusing on traffic safety improvements to fulfill its commitment to address fatalities on Saskatchewan roads. Donna Harpauer, Minister responsible for Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI), introduced the amendments to The Traffic Safety Act on Thursday in the Legislative Assembly.
These amendments will strengthen penalties for impaired driving, enable a photo radar pilot project at high-risk locations and in school zones around the province, and make booster seats mandatory for children under the age of seven who fall within the prescribed height and weight guidelines.
Most significant are changes to address the high rate of impaired driving in the province, including longer suspensions, vehicle impoundments and mandatory ignition interlock requirements.
â€œDrinking and driving is a lethal combination, one that causes far too many deaths in our province,â€ Harpauer said. â€œWith the new laws being put into place, Saskatchewan will have one of the toughest packages of impaired driving legislation in Canada.â€
In addition to the changes made in support of the governmentâ€™s Traffic Safety Action Plan, amendments are also being introduced to strengthen harmonization under the New West Partnership Agreement and align safety monitoring practices for commercial carriers with other jurisdictions.
These changes include moving authority for commercial carrier safety monitoring from the Highway Traffic Board to SGI. Legislative changes will also allow SGI to publicly release commercial carrier safety information, similar to other Canadian jurisdictions.
The legislation is anticipated to be passed in the 2014 spring legislative sitting.