Distracted driving is focus for SGI’s monthly traffic safety spotlight

Distracted driving is focus for SGI’s monthly traffic safety spotlight
In Saskatchewan under The Traffic Safety Act, receiving a second $280 cellphone ticket within a year triggers an immediate roadside vehicle impoundment.

Under The Traffic Safety Act, being on your phone while driving can cost you $280. Receiving two of those tickets within a year will result in impoundment — meaning you lose your vehicle for seven days.

Eighty-seven people felt the impact of the law in 2018.

SGI is calling this month’s traffic safety spotlight “Confessions of a Reformed Distracted Driver” – bringing real people’s experiences to light.

“Our advice, so you don’t hurt someone by driving while distracted or face those tough consequences and financial penalties, is simple: put the phone away,” said Penny McCune, chief operating officer of Saskatchewan’s Auto Fund.

Saskatchewan resident Laura Anaka was one of those people who received two distracted driving tickets last year.

Anaka said it’s something she isn’t proud of, but is eager to share her story to help prevent others from making the same mistake.

“I felt really guilty and ashamed when my car was towed,” Anaka said.

“I had to bum rides from my friends just to go to the grocery store and I was constantly switching out a car seat into different friends’ vehicles just so I could get my daughter to daycare. That week was really hard.”

Anaka said since then, she has taken a new approach while driving.

“When I’m driving, I don’t have my phone anywhere near me. It’s in my purse. Out of sight, out of mind,” Anaka said.

SGI is encouraging people to take responsibility not just for themselves but also to call out others if they see someone know using a cellphone while driving.

They also suggest drivers hide their phones to avoid temptation or put their phones on airplane mode while driving. If drivers need to use their phones, they should pull over to the side of the road.
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