How to stay safe on the road this long weekend

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With the July long weekend here, SGI is offering a number of reminders to drivers in Saskatchewan as they hit the road.

DISTRACTED DRIVING

Distracted driving comes with high fines - $580 for the first offence and $1,400 plus a one week vehicle impoundment for the second offence. SGI suggests setting a playlist in advance, planning the route and then mounting the phone on the dash or putting it away until arriving at the destination.

SEATBELTS

SGI said wearing a seatbelt reduces the risk of being injured or killed in a collision by as much as 50 per cent. Despite seatbelts being the law for more than four decades, they are not always used. SGI said it is the driver’s responsibility to make sure all passengers under the age of 16 are buckled properly. Separate $175 tickets can be issued for each person who isn’t.

DRIVE SOBER

In the month of May, police in Saskatchewan caught 507 people who were driving under the influence according to SGI. If long weekend plans include alcohol or anything else that may impair a driver, there should be plans made in advance for a safe ride home. Penalties for experienced drivers start at .04 blood alcohol content with a three-day license suspensions and vehicle impoundments. Cannabis, although legal, comes with a zero tolerance for drivers.

SPEED LIMITS

In the past few months, police in the province have written an average of one speeding ticket every six minutes, according to SGI. To avoid receiving a ticket, posted speed limits should always be obeyed. That includes in construction zones. Speeding tickets in a construction zone are even more expensive than a regular speeding ticket, and during the summer most routes will encounter construction. Speed should always be reduced to 60 km/h when passing highway workers and equipment.