News / Saskatoon

Distracted drivers: SGI says public should be consulted on tougher penalties

As the Saskatoon Police Service continues to see repeat offenders getting ticketed for distracted driving, they’re now looking at harsher punishments for those who aren’t “getting the message.”

According to Kelsie Fraser, social media and media specialist with the SPS, higher fines and even impoundment of a vehicle are being looked at.

“People obviously aren’t really getting it,” said Fraser. “Especially the repeat offenders … so we’re evaluating if the fine is too low, whether it should be raised and there’s the option of impounding vehicles.”

Although police could seize a vehicle under Sect. 280 of the Traffic Safety Act, Kwei Quaye, assistant vice-president of Traffic Safety and Driver Services for SGI said it’s not something they support.

“The police can use 280 right now, but we do not encourage it,” said Quaye. “We think that if there is a feeling that there needs to be a change to the act to deal more harshly with multiple offenders for cell phone use, we need to have a public debate, we need to consult the public and it has to go through the right channels.”

However, Fraser said it’s up to the officer to determine whether it’s a public safety issue under Sect. 280 and noted their still just “mulling” over the idea.

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