A special legislative committee has released a list of 26 recommendations they want to see implemented in Saskatchewan to tackle its looming road safety issue.

The recommendations look at both regulations and acts and range from stricter drinking and driving penalties to the graduated licensing system to public awareness campaigns.

“Everybody wants to see a safe roadway and now its just a matter of trying different things to make it work,” said Special Committee on Traffic Safety chair Darryl Hickie.

Some of the recommendations are intended to clear up warnings on regulations – like changing “holding a cell phone” to “holding and/or using cell phone” in distracted driving regulations – that could be changed within this session of parliament. Other changes would be of a legislative nature and would take much longer.

Hickie, who is the MLA for Prince Albert-Carlton, says the recommendations fall into three themes: additional enforcement, more punitive measures and public awareness.

“The totality of these recommendations when taken into play all feed each other,” said Hickie. “Collaboration is a big part of this.”

Most of the report focuses on highway action – as 96 per cent of accidents in Saskatchewan happen on highways – and drinking and driving issues in particular.

The committee was started after the deadliest year on the highways in Saskatchewan in 2012, when 162 deaths occurred.

“We have a high per capita to 100,000 rates of death on our roadway – we want to see that change,” said Hickie, a former police officer.

Some recommendations that were talked about most in the media scrum:

  • Zero drug tolerance for drivers 19 years old and younger and those still in the Graduated Driver’s License program
  • Harsher punishment for first-time drunk driving offenders
  • Harsher seizure and impoundments, including for drunk and distracted driving offences
  • SGI to fund 120 additional police officers devoted to traffic safety
  • Public awareness campaigns for First Nations communities, and in their own languages
  • Holding and/or using a cell phone while driving or at a stop sign to be made illegal

Read the full list of recommendations from the Special Committee on Traffic Safety here.

Source: Metro News



Last updated on: 2013-09-04 | Link to this post