Saskatchewan reports record numbers of distracted driving offences during October

Published: November 28, 2018

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Distracted driving continues to be a persistent and increasing issue on roads around Canada. In Saskatchewan, distracted driving already accounts for more road fatalities than impaired driving. Through October, there were a record-breaking number of distracted driving cases in the province.

According to data from the Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI), police reported 793 distracted driving offences during October. The public insurance provider says this is the most distracted driving offences for a single month since records were started.

Of the distracted driving offences recorded, 688 were for using a cellphone behind the wheel. 105 tickets were issued for driving without due care and attention.

“It’s very apparent that it’s a serious traffic concern when it comes to safety on Saskatchewan roads,” said Tyler McMurchy, an SGI spokesperson.

“It’s the number one human factor when it comes to collisions, the number one human factor when it comes to injuries and it’s second only behind impaired driving when it comes to fatalities.”

While the number of distracted driving offences continues to rise, SGI insists it is because the police are becoming more adept at catching infractions.

“On one hand, the results tell us how good police are at catching distracted drivers,” said McMurchy. The company cites on Regina-based officer who has earned the nickname “Hawkeye” because of an ability to find distracted drivers. This officer has issued over 1,000 distracted driving tickets during 2018.

“Clearly, though, there are a lot of drivers who still need to get the message,” said McMurchy.

Each month, SGI runs a traffic spotlight where the company focuses on one area of road safety. With distracted driving on the rise, the insurer says it will hold three distracted driving spotlights during 2019.