News Release - December 30, 2009
HAND-HELD CELLPHONES PROHIBITED ON SASKATCHEWAN ROADWAYS STARTING JAN. 1
SGI reminds all motorists that the new cellphone law will be in effect in Saskatchewan starting Jan. 1.
The law will prohibit all drivers from using hand-held cellphones to talk, text, email or surf the Internet while driving.
"In the new year, all motorists will have to adjust their driving habits to comply with the new hand-held cellphone law," Minister responsible for SGI June Draude said. "The best way to handle any call is to safely pull over on the side of the road to answer your phone or let voice mail pick it up."
Under the new legislation, experienced drivers will be allowed to use hands-free devices while driving.
New drivers, meaning drivers in Saskatchewan's Graduated Driver's Licensing program, cannot use cellphones of any type while driving a motor vehicle.
Drivers who are charged under the new law will face a penalty of $280 and four demerit points under the Safe Driver Recognition and Driver Improvement programs.
"Road safety is always a priority," Draude said. "During the holiday season, please don't drink and drive, buckle up and remember to always plan a safe ride home."
Driver distraction is an important component of SGI's comprehensive traffic safety strategy. It is recommended that motorists should refrain from other distractions such as snacking, reading, shaving, putting on makeup or looking at objects outside the vehicle.
In Saskatchewan, driver distraction is the most cited contributory factor in all collisions, accounting for nearly 25 per cent of all factors reported.
For detailed information of the new law visit SGI's website at www.sgi.sk.ca and click on road safety.
Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) is the province's self-sustaining auto insurance fund. SGI operates 21 claims centres and five salvage centres across Saskatchewan with a head office in Regina. SGI also works with a network of over 400 motor licence issuers across the province. Visit SGI at www.sgi.sk.ca.