Police officers always have their eye out for something when it comes to vehicles on the road.
"A well-maintained vehicle is a safe vehicle." stated Combined Traffic Services Saskatchewan (CTSS) in the provincial RCMP's latest weekly release.
CTSS units will always be looking for
- Burnt-out lights;
- cracked windshields;
- window tint;
- and other maintenance issues while they are on patrol.
The release states that since the beginning of 2018, CTSS has issued 30,441 charges and 93,397 warnings to drivers in Saskatchewan for inadequate vehicle equipment violations, and that 35,600 drivers have received vehicle defect inspection notices over that time frame as well with directions to have their vehicles repaired within a specified time to assure the continuance of the vehicle’s registration.
Those high numbers over a 5-year period may be surprising, but make sense looking at stats from 2023 so far.
"Since the beginning of 2023, CTSS has issued 4,544 charges and 13,523 warnings to drivers in Saskatchewan for inadequate vehicle equipment violations. During that time, 3,250 vehicles were issued vehicle defect inspection notices to repair the noted defect."
More specific stats over the past five years show why officers look for the hazards listed above.
- 8,332 charges and 43,817 warnings for cracked or damaged windshields. An inadequate windshield does not have the same integrity when a collision occurs, which may result in glass shards entering the cabin and injuring occupants;
- 13,332 charges and 5,243 warnings for illegal window tint on the windshield or front side windows. Window tint film reduces visibility in low-light conditions, rendering the vehicle’s operation dangerous for its occupants as well as other road users;
- 1,513 charges and 9,508 warnings for inadequate headlights, taillights, or turn signals. Inoperable vehicle lights create an increased hazard to other road users by making it more difficult to perceive a vehicle’s speed and distance, which could lead to a higher risk of collisions;
- 514 charges and 716 warnings for inadequate trailer brake systems, which could fail to activate if the trailer accidentally disconnects from a towing vehicle;
- 191 charges and 621 warnings for tires that are under-inflated, have low tread depth, or feature exposed inner construction;
- 61 charges and 189 warnings for trailers that do not have chains or other secondary attachment device adequately attached between a trailer and a towing vehicle.
“It may seem like it’s no big deal to put off getting a headlight replaced, or a windshield crack repaired. It is a big deal. Poorly-maintained or broken vehicle equipment can put your safety – and the safety of others on the road – at risk,” says S/Sgt. Kevin Williamson from CTSS. “That’s why checking for these things is an important part of the job of CTSS officers, who are patrolling the roads of Saskatchewan every day.”