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Tougher penalties introduced for impaired drivers with kids in vehicle

Drivers with a blood alcohol content of .04 or higher will face tougher penalties if they are transporting children

Drivers with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .04 or higher who transport children will face even longer roadside licence suspensions and vehicle seizures under legislation introduced today.
The Traffic Safety Amendment Act, 2017 implements an immediate seven-day administrative driving suspension on a first offence for a person who transports a child under the age of 16 and has a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .04 or higher, refuses to undergo a field sobriety test or fails a field sobriety test. This is an increase from the current three-day roadside suspension. This is in addition to any jail sentence, fine, demerit points and additional sanctions that result from the impaired driving conviction. Continue reading “Tougher penalties introduced for impaired drivers with kids in vehicle”

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SaskEnergy rate hike approved

Saskatchewan residents and businesses will be paying more for heat this winter.
The Government of Saskatchewan approved an increase to SaskEnergy’s Delivery Service Rate of 3.6 per cent to begin November 1, 2017. On average, the increase to residential customers will be an additional $1.65 per month or about $20 annually. The Delivery Service Rate is made up of two components – a fixed Basic Monthly Charge and a charge based on customer usage. Continue reading “SaskEnergy rate hike approved”

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New legislation allows for blue lights on tow trucks for visibility

A town truck cavalcade on Highway 16 on March 20 urged the government to allow different coloured lights on tow trucks. The government announced legislation to allow blue lights on tow trucks on Thursday, April 6.

The provincial government introduced and passed legislation on Thursday, April 6 to improve safety for tow truck operators.
The Traffic Safety (Tow Trucks) Amendment Act, 2017 permits blue lights to be used in conjunction with amber lights on tow trucks.
The legislation was introduced and passed in one day, which is a rare occurrence and requires the unanimous support of the Legislature. The move comes after tow truck operator Courtney Schaefer was killed March 7, 2017, in a collision along the roadside near the Gerald area during blizzard conditions.
“We’ve heard from tow truck operators about how they risk their lives daily while they assist motorists in distress,” Minister Responsible for Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) Joe Hargrave said. “Adding blue lights will increase visibility, heighten awareness as well as increase safety for all operators and the public.”
Saskatchewan is the first jurisdiction in Canada to introduce a two-colour lighting combination for tow trucks – other jurisdictions use amber lights only. The addition of blue lights isn’t mandatory – Saskatchewan operators can still opt for amber only. Tow truck operators can also strategically install additional lights to the tow truck and trailer providing there is at least one amber light on top of the truck that can be seen 360 degrees around the unit.
“This is a move in the right direction and a first for the safety of the tow truck operators in Canada,” Roadside Responders Association of Saskatchewan Vice President Harv Britton said. “Every day, our operators experience near misses. We’ve been clipped by vehicle mirrors as they whiz past us. Pylons outlining our safety zone at roadside have been run over. People just don’t seem to see the flashing amber lights; adding the blue will make us more noticeable and help keep operators safe.”
Tow truck operators will be able to install blue lights once the bill receives royal assent and is proclaimed, which will happen at the end of May. SGI will be undertaking public awareness efforts to educate the public about blue lights on tow trucks.
“We also remind motorists it’s the law to slow to 60 kilometres per hour when passing tow trucks and any emergency vehicles on the highway when flashing lights are engaged – those responders have families they want to get home safely to as well,” Hargrave said. “If you are going even 10 km/hr over that limit, it will cost you $210. So obey the law, and slow down. It could save a life.”

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