It seems people in Saskatchewan just aren’t getting the message to put down the cellphone while they’re behind the wheel.
Last month, police in Saskatchewan issued the most tickets for distracted driving since SGI and police began doing monthly traffic safety spotlights in 2014.
A total of 523 tickets were issued in March 2017. That included 83 for driving without due care and attention and a whopping 441 tickets for driving while using, holding, viewing or manipulating a handheld cellphone.
SGI said 2015 data showed distracted driving as the top factor in motor vehicle collisions in Saskatchewan and only behind impaired driving as the cause of fatal crashes.
More people were charged for distracted driving than impaired driving in March, according to SGI.
In January, distracted driving laws were changed to include using, viewing, holding or manipulating a handheld cellphone.
While experienced drivers can use hands-free phones either activated through voice commands or one-touch – or mounted on the dashboard or visor – learner and novice drivers are not allowed to use any kind of device while driving.
Other driving violations up
Police in the province also focused on speeding, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, seatbelt use and having child passengers in the appropriate safety seat.
That enforcement effort yielded 4,532 speeding and aggressive driving violations, 318 impaired driving infractions and 433 seatbelt or child safety seat violations.
According to SGI, those violations increased each month in 2017.
In April, police and SGI are focusing on pedestrian, bicycle and motorcycle safety.