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Province announces new impaired driving initiatives
Published Monday, July 30, 2018 11:16AM CST Last Updated Monday, July 30, 2018 6:22PM CST
The Government of Saskatchewan will be testing several new approaches to curb impaired driving incidents in the province.
Five different pilot projects have been drafted through collaboration of several government ministries and agencies, including law enforcement and crown corporations.
“Saskatchewan has a problem with impaired driving and it’s important we approach this issue with all the tools at our disposal, because even one death or injury from impaired driving is too many,” Tina Beaudry-Mellor, Minister Responsible for Innovation Saskatchewan, said.
The new initiatives include drive dollars. Bars and restaurants will offer patrons the option to put money toward a tab for a taxi, and the government would match the funds collected in the cab tab. The province will assess whether or not the approach would increase accessibility to safe rides home.
“Basically what’s gonna happen is you come into the tavern, you get your drink, you’re having a grand time enjoying your night. Your server will ask you if you want to have a safe ride home,” John Christie, day manager at Victoria’s Tavern, said. “Basically you give them $5, we get you a coupon that gives you $15 off your fare to get home safe.”
Victoria's Tavern will be testing the new initative later this month.
Positive ticketing has been conceptualized by SGI, which specifies that designated drivers who are pulled over in a police check stop will be eligible for a $150 Visa gift card. Drivers will also be encouraged to speak about their experience as a designated driver on social media using the hashtag #CareAboutImpaired.
Liquor permit applications will also feature two new questions that will prompt applicants to consider safe rides for their patrons. Impact messaging will be a focus through community engagement between police and pub patrons, including a social media campaign. Children’s drawings featured on liquor store bags will also serve to spark discussions about the consequences of impaired driving.
The new road safety practices will be tested in certain areas in the province from the August long weekend to Labour Day. According to the provincial government the data will be analyzed to determine which practices would be effective, if implemented province-wide.