Distracted driving fines to more than double in Saskatchewan to $580 for 1st offence
The penalty for distracted driving in Saskatchewan is more than double.
On February 1, 2020, the fines for distracted driving will reach $ 580 out of $ 280 for the first violation.
“Enough is enough,” Joe Hargrave, Saskatchewan’s state insurance minister, said in a statement Tuesday.
“Despite increased police enforcement and significant efforts to raise awareness by SGI, 22 people lost their lives on the roads in Saskatchewan in 2018 due to distracted driving or carelessness. That’s 22 deaths too many.”
According to SGI, distracted driving was a factor in more than 6,000 collisions, 774 injuries and 22 deaths in 2018. In 2017, there were 6,399 distracting driving accidents and 26 deaths in Saskatchewan.
New changes include:
- First violation: a $ 580 ticket plus four drawbacks.
- A second offense within a year of being convicted of the first: a $ 1,400 ticket, plus four more flaws, plus an immediate seven-day vehicle seizure (approximately $ 400).
- A third offense within a year of being convicted of the first: a $ 2,100 ticket, plus four more defects and another seven-day vehicle seizure.
Defects can cost drivers discounts they have earned, which costs them more money. For example, a driver starting from scratch on SGI’s Safe Driver Recognition Scale (SDR) who receives three distracted driver’s tickets in one year will have to pay $ 1,200 in financial penalties to SDR.
Hargrave called the sentences “harsh and severe” after Tuesday’s question period.
“Many people continue to risk their lives and the lives of others on the roads in Saskatchewan by being complacent and choosing to ignore the laws of distracted driving,” he said.
Hargrave said that since 2009, distracted driving has been the only leading human factor in injuries and collisions in Saskatchewan, and that since May this year, police have distributed 900 distracted driver’s tickets per month.
Saskatchewan was at the bottom of the scale nationwide when it came to distracted driving fines – only New Brunswick had a smaller fine of $ 172 for a first offense.
Last November, Manitoba increased its fine for a first violation up to $ 672 from $ 203.
“It takes a year, maybe a year and a half to two years to see the effect,” Hargrave said of the fine.
Here are some of the distracted fines for driving in Canada:
- Alberta – $ 287.
- Yukon – $ 500.
- BC – $ 543 (includes penalty points through a state license issuer).
- Prince Edward Island – $ 575.
- Ontario – $ 615 if you pay it right away, but if you fight the ticket and lose the fine, it’s $ 1,000.
Distracted driving is defined as follows in the Saskatchewan Traffic Safety Act:
- Section 241.1 (2): “No driver shall hold, view, use or manipulate electronic communications equipment (mobile phone) while driving on a motorway.”
- Section 213 (1): “No one may drive on a motorway without due care and attention.
“That is all”
Regina Police Service Cst. Mike Seal outlined what distracted driving above and beyond using a cell phone while driving means.
“As long as it distracts from the road, it will be driving without due care and attention or driving without reasonable consideration for the ticket of others,” Seal said. – That is all.
Seel said that for those who need to use the phone in their car, it needs to be installed in some way. People can touch their devices “once or twice” to change songs, answer or end a phone call, or show a card.
Seal said he believed the higher fine would reduce the number of distracted drivers on Saskatchewan’s roads.
“It reminds me a lot of driving,” Seal said. “This was a very serious problem until the police started to increase enforcement and fines and penalties started to increase.”