Next week police will be filling up their ticket books with infractions as they crack down on unbuckled motorists and drivers using their cellphones.
© file photo
That will be the focus of this month’s traffic safety blitz, called Hang Up Buckle Up, which will go on all across the province next Wednesday and Thursday.
Both RCMP and municipal branches of law enforcement will be out on the roads looking for these specific infractions.
“These two day blitzes are where they all focus on the same topic,” said Kim Hambleton manager of communications with SGI.
Distracted driving, such as cellphone use and improper use of seatbelts are two of the top safety issues on Saskatchewan’s roads, Hambleton said.
On average, distracted driving, which includes cellphone use, contributes to more than 9,400 collisions each year in Saskatchewan, and results in about 2,400 injuries and 50 deaths.
Seven per cent of all injuries and 35 per cent of all fatalities from collisions involve improper seatbelt use, resulting in 448 injuries and 55 fatalities.
Improper seatbelt use is more than just failing to buckle in.
“It could be the lack of seatbelt or in cases were there is a child restraint, the child restraint isn’t used properly,” she said.
Hambleton said the point of the blitz is to get drivers attention, not to issue tickets.
“It’s mostly to raise awareness with motorists of some of the key traffic safety issues in the province. Remind them of them. We share the results of the blitzes the next week, which often highlights the problem. But mostly it’s to remind them … and that there are consequences …of course most importantly, collisions that could result in fatalities, but also tickets,” Hambleton said.
“The goal isn’t’ to write as many tickets as possible, in an ideal world you wouldn’t write any,” she said.
During a police blitz in October, named Operation Fall Frenzy, swaths of tickets were issued.
Saskatchewan motorists received more than 1000 tickets; 1,079 tickets in total, with 620 being for aggressive driving, 137 for seatbelt violations, 66 for cellphone violations and another 54 for impaired driving.