Drivers not getting the message

Austin M.
Austin M. Davis
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Two-day safety blitz resulted in nearly 250 tickets

In the most recent provincial two-day safety blitz, law enforcement issued nearly 250 tickets.

Provincial law enforcement issued 61 cellphone tickets over a two-day traffic safety blitz.

“It’s really tough to try and change somebody’s behaviour,” said Kelley Brinkworth, manager of media relations for SGI, “and that’s what’s happening here.

“People are so tied to their phones and just feel like they can’t let it go. When you’re driving, you need to put that phone away, buckle up your seatbelt and concentrate on the task at hand.”

The blitz took place across the province on Nov. 19 and 20, and was carried out by municipal police departments and RCMP detachments. Of the 247 tickets issued in two days, 61 were seatbelt violations and another 61 were cellphone violations.

Operation Hang up, Buckle Up focused on seatbelt use and not using cellphones while driving.

“It’s these kinds of behaviours that are leading to injuries, deaths and crashes,” Brinkworth said. “We don’t want to see any of this. If people were just driving following the rules, driving safely, following all traffic laws, there wouldn’t be any tickets to hand out at all. That would be the perfect scenario.”

It was the fourth time this year a safety blitz focused on seatbelts and cellphones.

Distracted driving, which includes cellphone use, is the top contributor to all collisions and all fatal collisions in the province.

Wearing a seatbelt reduces risk of fatality in a collision by 50 per cent. More than a quarter of fatalities in the province occur when the person wasn’t wearing a seatbelt.

The Moose Jaw Police Service issued 23 tickets during the two-day safety blitz. Of those, seven were for seatbelt infractions and three were for cellphone use while driving.

“It’s just disappointing that people don’t seem to be getting the message,” Brinkworth said.

Impaired driving will be the focus of law enforcement for the entire month of December.

Follow Austin M. Davis on Twitter @theaustinx.

Organizations: SGI, RCMP, Moose Jaw Police Service

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