Reporters go wild behind the wheel with SGI and RCMP
Along with impaired driving, distracted driving is the culprit behind crashes on Saskatchewan roads.
“When you’re talking about 26 fatalities, 953 injuries, and 6400 collisions in Saskatchewan in 2017, it’s a significant concern,” SGI spokesperson Tyler McMurchy said.
It’s a very serious subject, but distracted driving was encouraged at the RCMP Depot track on Friday. Members of the media drove through an obstacle course with RCMP and SGI to see how they could handle different distractions.
Their hopes weren’t high for us.
“A collision happens faster than you know,” Cst. Jean-Luc LeBlanc said. “In my nine year career, going on ten, people who are distracted driving typically do get into collisions.”
Test subjects drove the course snapping selfies, chowing down on messy fast food and applying makeup.
It may seem silly- but it compares to real life situations officers have dealt with.
“One of the scariest ones I saw was somebody eating poutine, using two hands to eat it,” Cpl. Dean Onykevitch recalled. “The next one was someone actually reading a novel while driving down the road.”
“Females putting makeup on, I’ve seen a semi driver eating soup with a spoon, people reading the newspaper, people with a cell phone up on the wheel actively watching TV or a movie,” LeBlanc added.
In the end, we left a path of destruction and dented pilons in our wake. Forget regular road speeds- that was barely breaking twenty kilometres an hour.
“If you’re travelling at 50 kilometres per hour, 100 kilometres an hour, it’s just not worth it,” McMurchy said. “You have to ask yourself, beyond the punishment that results; a $280 fine and four points on your license, what would it feel like to be responsible for a collision that injured or killed somebody?”
With the long weekend ahead, SGI and police are urging people to keep their eyes on the road and mind on the drive- because safety never takes a holiday.
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