Sask. RCMP tutor public on how to call in impaired drivers

The RCMP wants to help people report impaired drivers to get them off the road. 

"We've seen the tragedy that happens when we have impaired drivers out there and we want to be able to do something about that," said Sgt. Al Hofland, the RCMP's acting officer in charge of traffic services.

"We can't do something about it without the public's assistance."

RCMP recognize many have never called the emergency line before, so they want to make people feel more comfortable when dialling in a report. That's why they created a fake 911 call scenario and shared it on social media. 

It's easier for RCMP to track down a suspect if the caller shares the right information. 

Saskatchewan continues to have staggering rates of impaired driving, which is why awareness campaigns about the Report Impaired Driving program continue. 

The program began in 2011 and encourages the public to call 911 to report a suspected impaired driver.

In 2016, RCMP responded to more than 4,000 RID calls. There is no available data to show if those people were impaired or convicted. 

RID calls don't necessarily mean the driver was under the influence; it could be a medical situation or a distracted driver.

Hofland said the 4,000 calls last year are a good indication the program is moving in the right direction, but he wants more people to report.

 

The RCMP has worked with SGI to expand RID into more rural communities. 

SGI has provided about 300 RID signs for municipalities, according to spokesman Tyler McMurchy. The signs are available on a by-request basis. 

In 2015, 54 people died and nearly 1,200 collisions happened because of impaired driving.