Mis­sion: Zero is the goal on Saskatchew­an high­ways

The Southwest Booster - - NEWS - SUB­MIT­TED

Work­Safe Saskatchew­an, SGI, the RCMP and more than a dozen other com­mu­nity part­ners want to re­mind you to con­cen­trate when you are on the road to­day.

“Let’s work to­gether to make Mis­sion: Zero — no in­juries, no fa­tal­i­ties — a re­al­ity on our road sys­tem this sum­mer,” says Gord Moker, the CEO of Safe Saskatchew­an.

“It’s go­ing to take each of us ap­ply­ing our full at­ten­tion to driv­ing, and look­ing out for one an­other, but I know we can do it.”

Last Novem­ber, Work­Safe Saskatchew­an set up a com­mit­tee to ad­dress in­juries and fa­tal­i­ties on high­ways where the risk of col­li­sion was ris­ing.

“Saskatchew­an is see­ing in­creas­ing traf­fic due to oil and gas ac­tiv­ity, truck­ing and min­ing. In some ar­eas, traf­fic has dou­bled. Traf­fic on high­way 16 be­tween Maid­stone and Lloy­d­min­ster has in­creased by an aver­age of over 1,000 cars and 500 semi trucks per day since 2007. With more traf­fic on the road, driv­ers have to con­cen­trate more than they may be used to,” says Phil Ger­main, Vice Pres­i­dent of Preven­tion, Saskatchew­an Work­ers’ Com­pen­sa­tion Board.

Sum­mer is es­pe­cially danger­ous.

“Af­ter look­ing at the fa­tal­ity and col­li­sion de­tails from across the prov­ince, we no­ticed that from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at night, the num­ber of col­li­sions and deaths spike.

“We are ask­ing peo­ple to please con­cen­trate all the time on the high­way, but es­pe­cially dur­ing the early evening,” ex­plains An­drew Cart­mell, Pres­i­dent and CEO, SGI.

Marty Cobb, Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor of the Mo­tor Safety As­so­ci­a­tion ex­plains, “Peo­ple are tired, they are rush­ing home from work or to the cot­tage.

“They might have had a drink af­ter work so their reaction time is down.

“They get distracted and glance at a text. Even a split sec­ond can be fa­tal.”

What­ever the rea­son – the risk on Saskatchew­an high­ways is up.

“Th­ese col­li­sions are pre­ventable,” says Sgt Pete Garvey of the RCMP. “Even if you think you are the best driver on the road, fo­cus. Don’t let your­self be distracted be­cause you know what? The guy in the next car thinks he’s the best driver in the world too, and if he’s also distracted, the re­sults will be deadly.”

“It’s al­ways bet­ter to get there 15 min­utes later than to not get there at all,” ad­vises Garvey.

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