Criminal offence not needed for cellphone use while driving: Saskatoon police chief

Clive Weighill says having an immediate consequence may drive the point home a bit more.

Clive Weighill says alternatives might be more useful

Saskatoon police Chief Clive Weighill says having an immediate consequence to using a cellphone while driving may drive the point home a bit more. (B.C. Government)

Saskatoon's police chief doesn't think using a cellphone while driving needs to be a criminal offence in Canada.

Chief Clive Weighill spoke with CBC Radio's Afternoon Edition Friday about the call Quebec made to the federal government this week.

"I'm thinking it might be more useful to find alternatives similar to the way the new provincial impaired driving penalties are," Weighill said. "So maybe if you're caught a second time, a second offence using your texting, the police immediately seize your vehicle."

Weighill said having an immediate consequence may drive the point home a bit more and the criminal process can be slow.

The chief said he believes the distracted driving law in Saskatchewan has helped somewhat.

"But we still know that distracted driving has been and continues to be one of the major causes of collisions here in the province."

Weighill compared the law to the seatbelt law saying it took a lot of charges and enforcement to convince people to buckle up.

With files from CBC Radio's Afternoon Edition