Police issued almost 250 tickets November 19 and 20 during SGI’s November traffic safety blitz Operation Hang Up, Buckle Up targeting cell phone use and improper or non-seatbelt use.
“Distracted driving, including cell phone use, is the number one contributing factor in all crashes in Saskatchewan and number one in all fatal crashes,” said Kelley Brinkworth, spokesperson for the provincial insurer.
Of the 250 citations, 61 were for cell phone use and 61 for improper or non-seat belt use.
While the total number of tickets was way down from last month’s Operation Fall Frenzy during which officers handed out 756 fines and about half the number from the last Hang Up, Buckle Up blitz, Brinkworth does not think it is because people are getting the message about the dangers of cell phone use.
“I wish that’s what it was,” she said. “We still have at least 122 people who aren’t getting the message.”
More likely, she said the relatively low number of tickets was probably related to the Grey Cup.
“I think participation was down a little bit with some of the law enforcement agencies,” she said.
SGI has run Hang Up, Buckle Up four times this year and will continue as it remains a major area of concern.
“Even one ticket is too many tickets,” Brinkworth said. “That’s why we do this. We hope it will raise awareness about some to these key safety issues. Maybe if people hear it enough times it will start to sink in.”