Saskatchewan

Police seized 91 vehicles from repeat distracted drivers in 2019: SGI

There were 91 separate vehicles impounded in 2019 due to repeat offenders who decided to keep using their phone behind the wheel, according to Tyler McMurchy, manager of media relations for SGI.

Stiffer penalties for distracted driving came into effect on Saturday

A distracted driver was ticketed $2,100 on Monday, the driver's fifth ticket in 12 months. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

One allegedly distracted driver was given their fifth ticket in 12 months by Saskatoon Police Service on Monday, and this ticket more than doubled the amount they were fined in all of last year.

That driver joins dozens of others who've been penalized for distracted driving recently.

There were 91 separate vehicles impounded in 2019 due to repeat offenders who decided to keep using their phone behind the wheel, according to Tyler McMurchy, manager of media relations for SGI.

Police said in a tweet on Monday that an officer in the traffic unit handed out a ticket worth $2,100 to the scofflaw, in addition to a 7-day vehicle impoundment.

The previous four tickets were all for $280, adding up to a $1,120 total in 2019.

New, stricter rules for distracted driving also went into effect on Saturday, two days before the $2,100 penalty was handed down. 

A distracted driver or an inattentive driver factored into more than 6,000 collisions in 2018, according to SGI. Those collisions resulted in 774 injuries and 22 deaths.

More than 1,000 drivers were ticketed for distracted driving during the months of May and July.

Stiffer penalties

A first distracted driving ticket will cost $580 and earn the driver four demerit points. Previously, the penalty was $280 for a first offence.

A second distracted driving ticket within one year will cost $1,400, and lead to a seven-day vehicle seizure and four demerit points. Owners are responsible for all impound and towing fees. 

A third distracted driving ticket in one year will cost $2,100, and will result in another seven-day vehicle seizure and four more demerit points. 

Each demerit points results in an additional $50 penalty for drivers who fall below zero. That means a driver who started at zero points and got three tickets would pay an additional $1,200 in penalties on top of the ticket fines.

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