In his own mirthful and irreverent fashion, SGI manager of media relations Tyler McMurchy lays down some tracks on May’s Traffic Safety Spotlight.  

“In 1998, the Spice Girls released one of their timeless hits “Stop,” containing pearls of wisdom like: ‘Slow it down, read the sign, so you know just where you're goin’! Sure, the Spice Girls weren’t specifically singing about traffic safety, but the advice is still relevant, since 10 per cent of collisions in Saskatchewan involve failure to yield to the driver with the right of way.” 

McMurchy goes on to say that May’s Traffic Safety Spotlight focuses on being alert regarding the right of way and paying attention to traffic control devices. 

Yielding is an important part of safely navigating an intersection, and nearly half of all collisions occur at intersections. That’s why it’s so important to pay attention to what’s going on when you approach an intersection and always ensure you’re waiting your turn. 

“Collisions occur frequently at intersections, during turns and lane changes,” said JP Cullen, Chief Operating Officer of the Auto Fund. “We’re asking drivers to remain alert and aware of the simple actions they can take to help keep themselves and others safe on the road.” 

Drivers are encouraged to take extra care at intersections and always look both ways before entering any intersection. Anticipate the traffic light changing to avoid running through an amber or red light. Always signal and use correct procedures for turning – don’t rely on other drivers to execute their turns correctly. 

Avoid collisions by being alert and yielding the right of way: 

  • Be alert and eliminate distractions. Driving requires your full, undivided attention. Keep your focus on the road. 

  • Always come to a complete stop before the crosswalk or stop line at stop signs and red lights and proceed when safe. 

  • If the intersection allows right turns at a red light, ensure you come to a complete stop. Wait for approaching traffic and pedestrians to clear before proceeding into the first available driving lane. 

  • When turning left on a green light, ensure oncoming traffic and pedestrians have cleared before proceeding. 

  • At uncontrolled intersections, always yield to the vehicle on the right. 

  • Ensure there's room for you to merge into a lane before making your move. 

  • Watch for pedestrians. Give them the space they need to cross safely and yield to them where appropriate. 

Drivers receive a $230 ticket and four demerits for failing to come to a stop at a red light or stop sign, or failing to yield to a pedestrian at a yield sign, or in an uncontrolled intersection. 

So, as the Spice Girls sang, “Slow it down baby, have some fun!” Let’s make sure we’re all taking our time around intersections, paying attention to traffic signals and signs, and yielding to the driver with the right of way. 

SGI encourages drivers to access the Saskatchewan Driver’s Handbook to refresh their knowledge of the rules of the road, skills and traffic signs, and follow SGI on FacebookInstagram and Twitter for more traffic tips.