Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) and the province’s police will focus on new drivers throughout June.

Police will be watching for new drivers not following restrictions outlined in the Graduated Driver’s Licensing (GDL) and Motorcycle Graduated Driver’s Licensing (MGDL) programs.

While new drivers include inexperienced drivers of any age, they are most commonly young drivers. Compared to all other age groups, young drivers account for a disproportionate amount of collisions, injuries and fatalities on Saskatchewan roads. Between 2010 and 2014, drivers 19 years of age and younger represented 7.1 per cent of Saskatchewan’s driving population, yet accounted for 11.1 per cent of all collisions. Young drivers also represented 12.1 per cent of drivers killed and 13.3 per cent of drivers seriously injured in a motor vehicle collision.

“Practice is key as a new driver as it helps reinforce safe driving skills and habits,” said Earl Cameron, vice president of the Auto Fund. “The requirements and restrictions under the GDL and MGDL program are in place for a reason – to ensure new drivers and riders develop the appropriate level of driving skill and road experience before they progress into higher risk driving situations.”

SGI recommends new drivers keep the following tips in mind:

  • Know the restrictions for new drivers and riders and how they affect you.
  • Practice driving in different weather conditions and at different times of day.
  • Gradually expose yourself to more complex and higher-risk traffic situations.
  • Avoid distractions (cellphones, radio, passengers, etc.) and concentrate on the road.
  • Practice complicated driving manoeuvres and traffic situations with a qualified instructor or supervising driver until you master them.
  • Before driving, familiarize yourself with vehicle controls and functions.