Saskatchewan is ready to go to war on impaired drivers as early reports suggest the province has the highest rates of drinking and driving in Canada through 2017. In response, the government has issued a statement saying it wants to address the issue during 2018.
Firm numbers for 2017 have not yet been release, but Statistics Canada issued a report suggesting the news will not be good for Saskatchewan.
“These numbers are just too high,” Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) vice-president of traffic safety and driver services Kwei Quaye told The Canadian Press. “Impaired driving, in our opinion, is a totally preventable type of behaviour.”
“The consequences of this in terms of impacts on people’s lives and impact on their families is unacceptable,” Quaye added.
One of the first things Saskatchewan authorities will need to do is tackle possibly an unanswerable question: why are impaired driving rates in the province so much higher than anywhere else? Quaye believes it could be because drivers are unaware of the consequences or believe it is too easy not to be caught.
Many would argue Saskatchewan has already taken a pro-active approach to tackling impaired driving, including new legislation that introduced harsher penalties and vehicle seizures.
“We continue to look for ways and means to change the picture with respect to impaired driving,” Quaye remarked. “There is a shift happening. We are very hopeful.”