By Jordan Arseneault
Toronto, Ontario -- December 31, 2018 -- Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) is keeping its foot on the pedal when it comes to its fight against impaired driving.
The public insurer is kicking off January with a Traffic Safety Spotlight firmly focused on eliminating impaired driving, which remains the leading cause of fatalities on Saskatchewan roadways.
“Impaired driving is something that’s 100 percent preventable,” said Tyler McMurchy, manager of media relations at SGI. “This message isn’t just for January, it’s year round. We hope that we can get to a place where people don’t even think about driving while impaired.”
In 2017 SGI saw the lowest amount of fatalities from impaired driving in 30 years. The private insurer hopes to build off this success and is optimistic thanks to new, stricter, federal laws against impaired driving. Earlier this month officers gained the right to demand a roadside breath sample from any driver who has been lawfully stopped, while also being trained and certified to perform Drug Recognition evaluations and standardized field sobriety tests. Police are also expected to receive saliva testers to detect recent drug use.
“Police are very focused on putting an end to these unnecessary lives lost and are prepared better than ever before to do so,” said McMurchy. “These officers are the ones who see the damage first hand and have to knock on someone’s door and give the worst news that their loved one is never coming home.”
Current penalties for being caught driving impaired in Saskatchewan include: roadside license suspension for criminal charges, vehicle seizure up to 60 days, mandatory enrolment in SGI’s Driving Without Impairment education program and substantial financial penalties via Safe Driver Recognition program.