Ten years later in Sask., re­port­ing im­paired driv­ing as im­por­tant as ever

Prairie Post (East Edition) - - CLASSIFIED­S -

Con­trib­uted

This month marks the 10-year an­niver­sary of Saskatchew­an’s Re­port Im­paired Driv­ers (RID) pro­gram and res­i­dents are urged to con­tinue to help make roads safer in the prov­ince by re­port­ing sus­pected im­paired driv­ers to po­lice.

“Attitudes are chang­ing in Saskatchew­an; more and more peo­ple are de­cid­ing it’s never okay to drive im­paired,” Min­is­ter re­spon­si­ble for SGI Joe Har­grave said. “But we know there are still some peo­ple who make the poor de­ci­sion to drive un­der the in­flu­ence of al­co­hol or drugs. The Re­port Im­paired Driv­ers pro­gram is one way to help law en­force­ment catch those who haven’t got­ten the mes­sage. I en­cour­age ev­ery­one to al­ways plan a safe ride. There is al­ways a bet­ter al­ter­na­tive, such as get­ting a ride from a sober friend or fam­ily mem­ber, call­ing a cab or des­ig­nated driv­ing ser­vice or sum­mon­ing a rideshare.”

The RID pro­gram was spear­headed by SGI, the Saskatchew­an Liquor and Gam­ing Au­thor­ity and po­lice agen­cies across the prov­ince, with sup­port from Moth­ers Against Drunk Driv­ing and Stu­dents Against Drink­ing and Driv­ing.

The pro­gram launched in Saska­toon in 2010 and was ex­panded to in­clude the rest of the prov­ince the fol­low­ing year.

From 2010 to 2019, RID calls re­sulted in 2,870 Crim­i­nal Code charges, and an ad­di­tional 581 road­side sus­pen­sions, along with 1,750 other charges.

“Hav­ing the eyes of the pub­lic watch­ing for im­paired driv­ers and shar­ing that in­for­ma­tion with po­lice is mak­ing a dif­fer­ence,” said S/Sgt. Ryan

Frost, Dis­trict Com­man­der of Com­bined Traf­fic Ser­vices Saskatchew­an. “The Re­port Im­paired Driv­ers pro­gram is another tool that po­lice have to help stop im­paired driv­ing.”

When re­port­ing an im­paired driver, call­ers should re­mem­ber that any in­for­ma­tion can help and the more de­tails pro­vided the bet­ter.

Op­er­a­tors are trained to ask ques­tions about the lo­ca­tion and di­rec­tion the ve­hi­cle is trav­el­ling, the make, model and colour of the ve­hi­cle, li­cence plate num­ber, a de­scrip­tion of the driver and the sus­pi­cious driv­ing be­hav­iour.

To get an idea about what to ex­pect when you call the RID pro­gram, see this video pro­duced by the RCMP: https://www.face­book. com/Saskatchew­anRCMP/ videos/1762261403­799625/

Some of the com­mon signs demon­strated by im­paired driv­ers in­clude:

• Drift­ing in and out of lanes

• Driv­ing un­rea­son­ably fast, slow or at an in­con­sis­tent speed

• Tail­gat­ing and chang­ing lanes fre­quently

• Mak­ing ex­cep­tion­ally wide turns

• Chang­ing lanes or pass­ing with­out suf­fi­cient clear­ance

• Over­shoot­ing or stop­ping well be­fore stop signs or stop lights

• Dis­re­gard­ing sig­nals and lights

• Ap­proach­ing or leav­ing in­ter­sec­tions too quickly or slowly

• Driv­ing with win­dows open in cold or in­clement weather

• Driv­ing with­out head­lights, fail­ing to lower high beams or leav­ing turn sig­nals on.

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