The month of March marks the 10-year anniversary of Saskatchewan’s Report Impaired Drivers (RID) program and residents are urged to continue to help make roads safer in the province by reporting suspected impaired drivers to police.
“Attitudes are changing in Saskatchewan; more and more people are deciding it’s never okay to drive impaired,” Minister responsible for SGI Joe Hargrave said.
“But we know there are still some people who make the poor decision to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The Report Impaired Drivers program is one way to help law enforcement catch those who haven’t gotten the message. I encourage everyone to always plan a safe ride. There is always a better alternative, such as getting a ride from a sober friend or family member, calling a cab or designated driving service or summoning a rideshare.”
The RID program was spearheaded by SGI, the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority and police agencies across the province, with support from Mothers Against Drunk Driving and Students Against Drinking and Driving. The program launched in Saskatoon in 2010 and was expanded to include the rest of the province the following year.
From 2010 to 2019, RID calls resulted in 2,870 Criminal Code charges, and an additional 581 roadside suspensions, along with 1,750 other charges.
“Having the eyes of the public watching for impaired drivers and sharing that information with police is making a difference,” said S/Sgt. Ryan Frost, District Commander of Combined Traffic Services Saskatchewan.“The Report Impaired Drivers program is another tool that police have to help stop impaired driving.”
“Impaired driving is not only criminal, it is also socially unacceptable,” said Estevan Police Chief Paul Ladouceur. “Everyone has a role to play in keeping Saskatchewan roads safe. I have seen first-hand how RID contributes to apprehending impaired drivers and I encourage the public to call police when witnessing a possible impaired driver.”
When reporting an impaired driver, callers should remember that any information can help and the more details provided the better.
Operators are trained to ask questions about the location and direction the vehicle is travelling, the make, model and colour of the vehicle, licence plate number, a description of the driver and the suspicious driving behaviour. To get an idea about what to expect when you call the RID program, see this video produced by the RCMP: https://www.facebook.com/SaskatchewanRCMP/videos/1762261403799625/
Some of the common signs demonstrated 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