The provincial government is pleased to report that fewer people were killed on Saskatchewan’s highways in 2019 than in any single other year since records started being kept in the 1950’s.
Minister responsible for SGI Joe Hargrave, spoke to reporters on the statistic Monday morning, we’ll have details from that news conference later this afternoon.
In a news release the province said SGI’s preliminary statistics indicate 71 people were killed in collisions in 2019, the previous record low was 73 in 1951.
“This number makes it clear that many Saskatchewan people have decided that it is no longer acceptable for this province to hold a different record, and one that we held not that many years ago, where we had the highest number of road fatalities in Canada,” Hargrave said in a release. “I want to thank all Saskatchewan residents who are working to make our roads safer, and I’d like to particularly acknowledge the work by law enforcement, media, and families affected by distracted or impaired driving.”
Hargrave also spoke to media on Monday morning, saying he feels people are getting the message when it comes to drinking and driving, recalling a Christmas party he attended where all guests had a safe ride home.
“Six times they announced during the evening, ‘we have rides for you, we have people set up to drive you and your car home,’ and this never happened before,” Hargrave said. “It never happened in small towns and other towns, everybody’s doing things (to prevent drinking and driving), so those attitudes are changing.”
RCMP Sgt. Darren MacDougall said he has noticed drivers are slowing down.
“You’d be out patrolling, and I’ll use Highway #6 as an example down towards Weyburn-Estevan, and you’d be getting speeds anywhere 135 and above,” Sgt. MacDougall said. “Now the speeds have dropped significantly for sure, a lot of people are holding that 100 km/h mark quite consistently.”
Over the past ten years (2008-2018) Saskatchewan averaged nearly 140 road fatalities per year.