WorkSafe Saskatchewan, SGI, the RCMP and more than a dozen other community partners want to remind you to concentrate when you are on the road today.
“Let’s work together to make Mission: Zero - no injuries, no fatalities - a reality on our road system this summer,” says Gord Moker, the CEO of Safe Saskatchewan. “It’s going to take each of us applying our full attention to driving, and looking out for one another, but I know we can do it.”
Last November, WorkSafe Saskatchewan set up a committee to address injuries and fatalities on highways where the risk of collision was rising.
“Saskatchewan is seeing increasing traffic due to oil and gas activity, trucking and mining. In some areas, traffic has doubled. Traffic on highway 16 between Maidstone and Lloydminster has increased by an average of over 1,000 cars and 500 semi trucks per day since 2007. With more traffic on the road, drivers have to concentrate more than they may be used to,” says Phil Germain, Vice President of Prevention, Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board.
Summer is especially dangerous.
“After looking at the fatality and collision details from across the province, we noticed that from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at night, the number of collisions and deaths spike. We are asking
people to please concentrate all the time on the highway, but especially during the early evening,” explains Andrew Cartmell, President and CEO, SGI.
Marty Cobb, Executive Director of the Motor Safety Association explains, “People are tired, they are rushing home from work or to the cottage. They might have had a drink after work so their reaction time is down. They get distracted and glance at a text. Even a split second can be fatal.”
Whatever the reason – the risk on Saskatchewan highways is up.
“These collisions are preventable,” says Sgt Pete Garvey of the RCMP. “Even if you think you are the best driver on the road, focus. Don’t let yourself be distracted because you know what? The guy in the next car thinks he’s the best driver in the world too, and if he’s also distracted, the results will be deadly.”
“It’s always better to get there 15 minutes later than to not get there at all,” advises Garvey.