The Saskatchewan government is cracking down on distracted drivers with imposing heavier fines.
Starting February 2020, a first-time offence will go up to $580 from $280 and the driver will receive four demerit points. A second offence within a year of the first brings a $1,400 fine, another four demerit points and an immediate seven-day seizure of the vehicle. If a driver has a third offence within a year of the first they will receive a $2,100 fine, an additional four demerit points and another seven-day vehicle seizure.
According to SGI, in 2018, distracted driving was a factor in more than 6,000 collisions, 774 injuries and 22 deaths. Between May and July of 2019, police across the province issued over 1,000 distracted driving tickets.
“Distracted driving kills and injures people; it is a serious safety concern, and our government is sending a direct message to drivers,” says Minister in charge of SGI Joe Hargrave. “Yes, the tickets are costly. Don’t want to get one? It’s easy. Put the phone down, keep your head up, and focus on the road.”
The penalty for distracted driving in Alberta is a $287 fine and three demerit points.