Po­lice look­ing for dis­tracted driv­ers in Saskatchewan in Oc­to­ber

Prairie Post (East Edition) - - Prairies - COUR­TESY SGI

Dis­tracted driv­ing isn’t a good look on any­one.

On your phone while you drive? When you look down like that, it just looks… well... weird. And you’re not fool­ing any­one. Eat­ing a messy burger or bur­rito? C’mon, with sauce drip­ping all over your face, hands, and steer­ing wheel, that’s both gross and dan­ger­ous.

Of course, it’s not all just about looks. If your at­ten­tion isn’t on the task of driv­ing, then you might not see that yield sign. Or that the light just turned red. Or that kid dart­ing in front of you on her bi­cy­cle.

Dis­tracted driv­ers caused more than 6,000 col­li­sions last year, re­sult­ing in 953 in­juries and 26 deaths.

Dis­tracted driv­ing is the lead­ing cause of col­li­sions in Saskatchewan and the se­cond-high­est fac­tor in fa­tal col­li­sions (be­hind im­paired driv­ing).

That’s why law en­force­ment will be crack­ing down on dis­tracted driv­ers through­out Oc­to­ber as part of the Traf­fic Safety Spotlight.

“Po­lice have plenty of ways to catch dis­tracted driv­ers in the act,” said Penny McCune, Chief Op­er­at­ing Of­fi­cer of the Auto Fund.

“They could be cruis­ing through traf­fic in un­marked SUVS, they might be in plain­clothes on the side­walks, or maybe they’ll be watch­ing from el­e­vated van­tage points over­look­ing busy thor­ough­fares. Pay at­ten­tion: if you drive dis­tracted, you’re go­ing to get caught.”

An­other rea­son dis­tracted driv­ing isn’t a good look? Your face when you re­al­ize you’re get­ting a $280 ticket (and that’s not in­clud­ing the fi­nan­cial penal­ties or loss of Safe Driver Recog­ni­tion in­surance dis­counts).

That will ruin your week quicker than you can post a sad selfie on In­sta­gram. So keep your eyes on the road and keep your money in your wal­let.

It only takes a se­cond of not fo­cus­ing on the road to ruin your life, or some­one else’s.

Here are some tips to help you drive dis­trac­tion-free:

• Put your cell­phone on Do Not Dis­turb or Air­plane mode while driv­ing.

• Ask your pas­sen­ger to han­dle an­swer­ing any mes­sages.

• Can’t leave your phone alone? Toss it in the trunk or back­seat.

• If you’re us­ing GPS, en­ter your des­ti­na­tion ahead of time.

• If you drop some­thing, leave it. Don’t fum­ble around for it.

• Make your drive time, quiet time. #JustDrive

Fol­low SGI on Face­book, Twit­ter and In­sta­gram for safety tips to #TakeCareOutThere.

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