Traffic blitz focuses on pedestrian safety and seatbelt use

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July’s two-day traffic safety blitz, Operation Heads Up, Buckle Up, will be conducting their province-wide enforcement on Wednesday and Thursday.

Law enforcement across the province are on the lookout for drivers failing to yield to pedestrians, pedestrians jaywalking and drivers and passengers not wearing seatbelts.

“In more than one-third of all traffic fatalities in the province, the person killed was not wearing a seatbelt,” said Andrew Cartmell, President and CEO of SGI. “Buckle up each and every time you get behind the wheel and make sure your passengers are buckled up too. And for both pedestrians and drivers, keep your heads up so you can see each other.”

In 2012 in Saskatchewan, 18 pedestrians were killed and another 325 were injured in collisions, while improper or non-seatbelt use contributed to 47 deaths and 274 injuries.

“Seatbelts do save lives and in the summer months, when we typically see an increase in the volume of traffic on our highways, it’s more important than ever to buckle-up,” said Chief Troy Hagen, President of the Saskatchewan Association of Chiefs of Police.  “Summer also means more pedestrians, at all hours, so both motorists and pedestrians need to pay attention when sharing the road.”

Operation Heads Up, Buckle Up will be held in conjunction with a Selective Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP) event in La Ronge. STEP is an SGI-sponsored, multi-police agency traffic safety enforcement event.

Last month’s province-wide blitz, Operation Hang Up, Buckle Up, focused on cellphone and seatbelt use while driving. It resulted in a total of 412 tickets, including 95 seatbelt and 30 cellphone violations.

With camping season in full swing, motorists pulling campers and RVs or hauling boats and trailers should ensure both the towing vehicle and vehicle being towed are properly registered and well-maintained. Check that all loads are properly secured and that lights and brakes are in working order, tires are properly inflated, wheel bearings are lubricated and safety chains are connected.

Organizations: SGI, Saskatchewan Association of Chiefs of Police

Geographic location: Saskatchewan

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