SGI’s Report Impaired Drivers (RID) program has made a difference on Saskatchewan roads since it’s creation in 2010.
There was a celebration at SGI headquarters on Tuesday morning in Regina marking the 10-year anniversary of the program and how it has helped keep the province’s roads safer.
Between 2010 and 2019, RID calls reporting impaired motorists have resulted in 2,870 Criminal Code charges, 581 roadside suspensions and 1,750 other charges.
Paul Ladouceur, chief of police for the Estevan Police Service, said that effort made by public to help catch impaired drivers makes a difference.
“It’s had a huge impact in our city. In 2018 alone, we had eight individuals charged in regards to impaired driving,” explained Ladouceur.
“That number may sound low. But when we talk about a city the size of Estevan for example, that’s huge.”
Efforts from police agencies and groups like MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) and SADD (Students Against Drinking and Driving) have helped expand the program to over the years.
Lou and Linda Van de Vorst lost their son Jordan, daughter-in-law Chanda, and two grandchildren Kamryn and Miguire from a drunk driving incident in 2016.
Lou said he’s encouraged there are efforts being made, but he wants to see the numbers continue to get closer to zero incidents.
“Nobody needs to go through what my wife and I, and my family went through,” he stated. “You don’t really understand the impact of it until you experience it yourself.”
He added that the fines and impoundments are helping discourage people from drinking and driving, however he’d love to see a zero tolerance policy in the province someday.
For Linda, she said it’s important for the community to get involved and help bring those numbers down.
“Everyone should be responsible to watch out for your neighbour – in any way, shape or form,” she suggested.
“You usually hear how they are going to get out that door, and if they are going to drive a car, do your part.”
SGI says if you suspect a driver is under the influence, but you’re not sure if you should call the vehicle in to police, some common signs shown by impaired drivers include:
• Drifting in and out of lanes
• Driving unreasonably fast, slow or at an inconsistent speed
• Tailgating and changing lanes frequently
• Making exceptionally wide turns
• Changing lanes or passing without sufficient clearance
• Overshooting or stopping well before stop signs or stop lights
• Disregarding signals and lights
• Approaching or leaving intersections too quickly or slowly
• Driving with windows open in cold or inclement weather
• Driving without headlights, failing to lower high beams or leaving turn signals on