A legislative committee has released a report designed to make roads safer in Saskatchewan.

The Special Committee on Traffic safety is recommending a number of changes, focusing mainly on impaired and distracted driving, speeding and wildlife collisions.

Here are a few of the recommendations:

  • Make it illegal to hold or use a cell phone or electronic device on the road
  • Zero drug and alcohol tolerance for drivers under 19, and new drivers in the Graduated Licensing Program
  • Drivers who are found to be impaired with drugs to fall under the same rules as those impaired by alcohol

Some of the suggested rules depend on a sliding scale based on the driver's experience level, how impaired they are, and the number of times they've been found to be impaired.

Others plan for ways to keep the public informed about driver safety and new rules, such as awareness campaigns involving SGI and

Enforcement

The committee also has proposed looking into the number of officers and experts required to enforce its recommendations.

It is asking SGI to pay for 120 new traffic enforcement officers for four years, and two more analysts.

It's also asking the justice ministry to look into how many drug recognition experts would be needed in the province.

The committee says drivers should be penalized four demerits for exceeding a speed limit by just 35 kilometres per hour, rather than when the current 50 kilometres per hour over the limit.

NDP Reacts

Meanwhile, the opposition members of the committee have issued a separate report. The NDP wanted drivers found with a blood alcohol level of 0.05 to have their vehicles impounded for three days. It says that's been done in Alberta and B.C., and alcohol-related vehicle deaths in those provinces have dropped by half.

The opposition says the government members would not go along with that recommendation.

Today's report recommends instead that those with a blood alcohol level between 0.04 and 0.08 have their license suspended for three days, and they must take a course within 90 days if it's a first offence. The report suggests after a second offence, drivers have their vehicles impounded for a week, they are screened for addictions, and their license is suspended for three weeks.

Saskatchewan's driving record