Aggressive drivers will be the focus for police during this month’s traffic safety blitz.
Taking place across Saskatchewan this Thursday and Friday, Operation Fall Frenzy will see law enforcement officials devote particularly close attention to a range of violations that constitute aggressive driving.
These include speeding, running red lights, failing to stop at stop signs, driving too fast for road conditions, disregarding traffic control devices, improper passing or lane usage (e.g. passing to the right), stunting, racing and careless driving.
“Aggressive driving is a big concern in the province,” SGI media relations manager Kelley Brinkworth said.
Over the course of 2012, aggressive driving contributed to more than 10,000 collisions across the province, resulting in 92 deaths and more than 4,300 injuries.
Excessive speed was a factor in almost one-third of fatal collisions.
“Speeding is one of the top three contributors of fatal crashes in the province,” Brinkworth said. “So it’s a good fit … especially around the long weekend coming up too with Thanksgiving, because we do tend to see more crashes around long weekends in the province.”
Operation Fall Frenzy is being held in combination with Operation Impact, a four-day cross-Canada blitz co-ordinated by the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police over the long weekend that focuses on aggressive driving.
Previous traffic blitzes underscore the enormity of the problem in Saskatchewan. Last October, Operation Fall Frenzy resulted in police issuing 1,079 tickets, including 620 aggressive driving violations.
Speeding is one of the top three contributors of fatal crashes in the province. Kelley Brinkworth
In May, Operation Spring Break -- which also focused on aggressive driving -- resulted in 1,046 tickets being issued, of which 749 were for aggressive driving.
Brinkworth indicated that while the causes for aggressive driving can be diverse, some are more common than others.
“It’d be hard to speak for everybody,” she said. “But I think a lot of the time, people just get into a hurry or maybe they’re running late, they’re trying to get to work or what have you.
“Sometimes, just the daily commute to work, you're stuck in traffic … (It) can be a little bit frustrating and maybe you want to get through that light. You don’t want to have to sit and wait … But a few minutes isn’t going to make that much difference in the long run.
“We just want people to be reminded -- just give yourself extra time to get to where you're going so that you’re not tempted to speed to rush to get somewhere.”
Although the focus of the blitz will be aggressive driving, Brinkworth pointed out that police will be issuing tickets for any other violations they observe as well.
“If they see you using a cellphone or if they see that you're not wearing a seatbelt or drinking and driving or what have you, those are all ticketable offenses as well.”