It’s a heartbreaking reality, more people are killed by impaired driving on Saskatchewan roads than any other cause.
“It’s completely preventable, inexcusable and we will hold offenders accountable,” Regina Police Service Sgt. Ian Barr said. “It’s the most terrible thing a police officer can have to d because you know when you’re walking up to that door, that you are about to ruin someone’s life.”
In 2016, 57 people were killed and 464 injured in collisions involving alcohol or drugs, and in 2017 Regina police laid over 800 charges.
“Those numbers are too high for something that is 100 per cent preventable,” Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) manager Tyler McMurchy said.
Earlier this year the province strengthened its impaired driving laws. Now Saskatchewan has some of the toughest laws in the country with license suspensions, vehicle seizures, mandatory ignition interlock, on top of any fines, jail time and driving restrictions imposed by the courts.
“We’re hopeful that when the numbers come out for collisions, injuries and fatalities for 2017 and we don’t have those final numbers yet, but we’re very hopeful we’re going to see a drop from the 2016 numbers,” McMurchy said.
With New Year’s Eve right around the corner, SGI launched a new campaign and is appealing to everyone to make a resolution they can keep – #DriveSober in 2018.
“We’re not saying don’t go out and have a good time and celebrate the New Year, we’re just saying plan a safe ride home,” McMurchy explained.
For those looking for options Regina Transit is offering free bus rides from 7 p.m. until 2:30 a.m. that will run every hour.
If you call Operation Red Nose volunteers will drive you and your vehicle home. The service is free but donations are welcome.
“We are first call first service, so early on in the evening when we start at 9 p.m. it’s around (the wait) 20 minutes, depending on road conditions,” Brett Strong, with Operation Red Nose, said. “By midnight it can be up to an hour and a half, two hours.”
Police will also be conducting check stops, all in an effort to make sure everyone arrives home safe this New Year’s Eve.