NORTH BATTLEFORD - Distracted driving can have devastating and deadly consequences. During the month of October, City of North Battleford Community Safety Officers (CSOs) will be on the lookout for distracted drivers.
A crashed truck is being displayed to graphically highlight the dangers of distracted driving. This truck will be on display throughout the city. Locations include: John Paul II Collegiate, North Battleford Comprehensive High School, Sakewew High School, Discovery Co-op Mall, Sobeys, Frontier Mall, Walmart, the Access Communications Centre, the Credit Union CUplex and across from City Hall. The CSOs aim to educate drivers about the dangers of distracted driving before they get behind the wheel. The message is clear and simple, “Just Drive,” put away your phone and limit other distractions like eating or grooming.
Cellphones are a dangerous distraction.
Three common categories of distracted driving are:
- Visual – eyes off the road
- Manual – hands off the wheel
- Cognitive – attention away from driving
Distractions such as cellphone use while driving causes all three distractions to occur. Cellphone use while driving is a dangerous situation for the driver, passenger, and other users of the roads and sidewalks.
It is illegal to use, hold, view or manipulate a handheld device while driving. If you are an experienced driver, and you are not in the Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) Program or the Motorcycle GDL program, you can use a hands-free device, if it can be activated with voice commands or one-touch, and it is mounted on the dashboard or visor in a cradle. New drivers are not permitted to hands-free devices at all.
The penalty for holding, using, viewing or manipulating a cellphone while driving varies depending on if it's your first, second or third offence:
- First offence - $580 ticket and four demerit points under the Safe Driver Recognition and Driver Improvement Programs
- Second offence within a year of being convicted of the first - $1,400 ticket, plus an additional four demerit points, plus an immediate, seven-day vehicle seizure
- Third offence within a year of conviction of the first - $2,100 ticket, plus four more demerits and another seven-day vehicle seizure
One second of distracted driving is all it takes to ruin the life of a family, and yours. Practice these smart driving behaviours to become or stay a distraction-free driver:
- If you think you’ll be tempted to check your phone, keep it in the glove box or trunk
- Enter your GPS destination ahead of time
- Put your phone in Do Not Disturb or Airplane mode while driving
- Delegate responsibilities – have your passengers assist you and have them handle the GPS, radio or respond to messages for you
- Don’t be afraid to pull over – find a safe spot to pull over to deal with anything that pulls your attention away from driving
- Avoid eating and driving
- If you drop something, leave it and retrieve it when you stop
SGI distracted collision statistics
- Distracted driving is the number one contributing factor in collisions in Saskatchewan.
- On average, there are 6,072 distracted driving collisions each year in the province (based on the five-year average from 2014-2018).
- Distracted driving is also a top contributing factor in collisions where people are injured or killed.
- On average, 31 people lose their lives and 892 people are injured in distracted driving related collisions each year in Saskatchewan (based on the five-year average from 2014-18).
This news release used statistics and information from https://www.sgi.sk.ca.
The City of North Battleford CSO’s would like to thank SGI and Lashberg Towing for their partnership in educating drivers about the dangers of distracted driving.