Monday September 01, 2014




Be safe, slow down

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Saskatchewan drivers are being challenged to reduce the number of deaths and injuries due to vehicle collisions on our roads.

The Road Safety Challenge aims to make drivers think about simple changes they can make to improve safety on provincial roads and highways, and help meet the target of a 10 per cent reduction in deaths and injuries by Saskatchewan Day 2015 and a 20 per cent reduction by Saskatchewan Day 2017.

“It’s easy to blame the ‘other driver’ for the behaviours causing collisions on Saskatchewan roads and highways,” Minister responsible for SGI Donna Harpauer said.  “We’re challenging all drivers to take personal responsibility, and do their part by making simple changes in their driving habits that can lead to big safety benefits.  Changes could include volunteering to be the designated driver, always wearing a seatbelt, easing off the gas pedal, and putting down the distractions like cellphones while driving.  Small changes can have a big impact.”

In 2012 in Saskatchewan, there were 184 deaths and 7,311 injuries due to vehicle collisions. The Saskatchewan Road Safety Challenge encourages everyone to identify the changes they can make in their driving habits to make our roads safer. A series of ads running on television, radio and online will challenge drivers to modify their driving behaviour – by slowing down, putting down that phone, and planning a safe ride home after drinking alcohol. Drivers are also encouraged to share their safe driving behaviour changes and ideas on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #wecandrivebetter.

“Governments can make stronger rules and tougher sanctions,” Chair of the all-party Special Committee on Traffic Safety Darryl Hickie said. “But the only way to make our roads safer is for drivers to think about the choices they can make to prevent crashes.  That’s why increasing traffic safety awareness was also a big part of our recommendations. This challenge is designed to get you talking about safe driving and how you can make a difference.”

“Changing driver behaviour is a little like moving a boulder,” Saskatchewan Association of Chiefs of Police President Chief Troy Hagen said. “We can either make a handful of people move a boulder up a hill, or we can ask 800,000 people to each carry a pebble. Neither police nor legislators can do this alone. But, if each driver makes a personal commitment together, we can reduce collisions.”

The Road Safety Challenge focuses on the most common high-risk driving behaviours and encompasses a variety of ongoing initiatives focused on traffic safety, including “We can do better” streeter ads, monthly traffic safety spotlights, car seat clinics and ads about upcoming changes to traffic safety laws.

For more information visit www.sgi.sk.ca


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