Traffic Safety changes will include tougher penalties

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Following the release of the report from the Special Committee on Traffic Safety, the government announced today that it is moving forward immediately on more than half of the recommendations made.

The action plan includes tougher penalties for drinking and driving, expanded photo radar for speed control, and increasing awareness of the dangers of distracted driving.  Highlights include:

- Implementing zero drug and alcohol tolerance for all drivers under 19 years of age, and for all drivers in the Graduated Driver’s Licencing (GDL) program and Motorcycle GDL program;

- Immediate 60-day roadside licence suspension and three-day vehicle impoundment with any Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) under .08 for drivers under 19 years of age, and all drivers in any GDL program;

- Immediate licence suspension up to court disposition and a 30-day roadside vehicle impoundment for a first offence for all drivers with a BAC of .08 to .15, or those who refuse a test;

- Introducing  mandatory ignition interlock for high BAC offenders;

- Implementing a two-year photo radar pilot project at high-risk locations and in school zones;

- Increasing financial penalties for drivers caught going more than 35 km/h over the speed limit; and

- Making booster seats mandatory for children under the age of seven, and less than 145 centimetres (4’9”) in height and 36 kilograms (80 pounds) in weight.

“Last year in the province, 184 people were killed on our roads and highways,” Minister responsible for SGI Donna Harpauer said.  “This traffic safety action plan aims to address this issue, as well as other traffic safety concerns, with the goal of reducing deaths and injuries on Saskatchewan roads.  We are hopeful these initiatives will have an immediate impact on driving behaviour, so we can all benefit from improved traffic safety in the province.”

Corresponding legislative amendments for these changes will be introduced in the Fall session.

Statistics

Fatalities on Saskatchewan roads 2008-2012

2012: Number of Fatalities - 184; Contributing Factors: Alcohol-related - 37 per cent; Distracted driving - 38 per cent; Excessive speed - 28 per cent.

2011: Number of Fatalities - 149; Contributing Factors: Alcohol-related - 40 per cent; Distracted driving - 33 per cent; Excessive speed - 31 per cent.

2010: Number of Fatalities - 167; Contributing Factors: Alcohol-related - 42 per cent; Distracted driving - 37 per cent; Excessive speed - 24 per cent.

2009: Number of Fatalities - 153; Contributing Factors: Alcohol-related - 43 per cent; Distracted driving - 23 per cent; Excessive speed - 30 per cent.

2008: Number of Fatalities - 157; Contributing Factors: Alcohol-related - 51 per cent; Distracted driving - 31 per cent; Excessive speed - 27 per cent.

2008-2012: Number of Fatalities - 810; Contributing Factors: Alcohol-related - 42 per cent; Distracted driving - 32 per cent; Excessive speed - 29 per cent.

NOTE: As of Oct 31, 2013, there have been 110 fatal collisions in Saskatchewan, resulting in 132 fatalities.

Organizations: Special Committee on Traffic Safety

Geographic location: Saskatchewan

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