REGINA -- During the month of April, police across Saskatchewan issued a total of 7,165 speeding tickets.

“Over the course of April, we saw police were quite busy writing speeding tickets at a pace, on average, of one ticket written every six minutes” Tyler McMurchy, the media relations manager for SGI, said.

Speeding was SGI’s traffic spotlight for April. That month saw:

  • 250 tickets written to drivers exceeding the limit by more than 35 km/h
  • 65 tickets written to drivers exceeding the limit by more than 50 km/h
  • 330 tickets written to drivers speeding in a school zone
  • 38 tickets written for drivers speeding by highway workers
  • 528 tickets written for drivers speeding by emergency vehicles or tow trucks with flashing lights

These numbers only include tickets issued by police, not tickets issued via photo speed enforcement.

SGI said tickets for the offences above are more expensive than typical speeding tickets.

This year’s statistics for April were significantly higher than last year, but SGI said that’s largely due to the strict lockdown in place last April. More than 8,000 speeding tickets were written in April 2019.

“It seems to be the kind of year when people are getting out and about. Snow is off the road, they might be more tempted to go a little faster on a clear stretch of road,” McMurchy said. “It’s also a time when you see more people out on the roads walking with their families, riding their bikes or taking their motorcycles out for a spin. So it’s really important to watch those speed limits and obey the posted speed limits year round.”

Other offences recorded in April include:

  • 456 impaired driving violations
  • 747 distracted driving violations
  • 473 seatbelt/child restraint violations

For its traffic spotlights, SGI works with police around the province to determine the priorities to focus on each year.

To raise awareness about illegal driving this Spring, the Regina Police Service (RPS) launched “Project SPEED.”

“After the winter time we always see, especially this year with COVID-19, that there is an uptake in aggressive driving and those sorts of things,” Sgt. Mark Verbeek with the RPS Traffic Safety Unit, said. “[Project SPEED] is an education component to get the message out to the public that we are there. We’re enforcing some of these aggressive driving behaviours, some of these illegal modifications to vehicles.”

Every month, RPS hands out a high number of speeding tickets. Sgt. Verbeek said it always gets even higher in the Spring, following the long Saskatchewan winters.

“In April alone, the Traffic Safety Unit issued approximately 1,200 tickets and just over 700 of those were speeding,” Sgt. Verbeek said.

Project SPEED is specifically targeting some neighbourhoods, including The Greens on Gardiner, where speeding and drag racing has been a concern.

“Chuka Boulevard is a wide open street so just the development of it encourages people to speed,” Sgt. Verbeek said. “We’ve used members in plain clothes and non-police vehicles to be the eyes in the area, calling out those vehicles that are stunting in the parking lots or racing in the streets.”

With the long weekend coming up, SGI said police forces and RCMP around Saskatchewan will be conducting traffic stops. They’ll be looking for violations of all kinds, including speeding, distracted driving and impaired driving.