November traffic safety blitz will focus on seatbelt and cellphone use

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Cellphones and seatbelts are once again the focus during this month’s traffic safety blitz, taking place Nov. 19 and 20 province-wide.

Operation Hang Up, Buckle Up will see law enforcement watching for drivers using cellphones, as well as people not wearing a seatbelt, wearing one improperly or not having their children properly secured in the vehicle.

“November 20th is National Day of Remembrance for Road Crash Victims,” said Andrew Cartmell, President and CEO of SGI. “It’s fitting Operation Hang Up, Buckle Up takes place at this time, since not wearing a seatbelt and distracted driving, which includes cellphone use, are two of the top contributing factors in traffic fatalities in Saskatchewan.”

Preliminary numbers from 2012 show improper or non-seatbelt use contributed to 47 deaths and 274 injuries in the province. Distracted driving, which includes cellphone use, contributed to 60 deaths and more than 2,200 injuries.

Cellphone use while driving results in a $280 ticket and the loss of four points under SGI’s Safe Driver Recognition program, while failing to wear a seatbelt results in a $175 ticket and the loss of three points. Depending where you sit on the safety rating scale, either ticket could cause you to pay a financial penalty or lose any insurance discount you receive.

This will mark the fourth time Operation Hang Up, Buckle Up has taken place across the province this year. It previously ran in June and resulted in a total of 412 tickets, including 30 cellphone violations and 95 seatbelt violations.

Organizations: SGI, RCMP

Geographic location: Saskatchewan

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