As Saskatchewan prepares to increase fines for distracted driving, the province’s Crown insurance company said a new monthly record was set for distracted driving.
SGI said the previous record for a single month was 1,039.
The Saskatchewan government announced last week that fines for distracted driving will be increasing in the new year.
Starting Feb. 1, 2020, tickets will start at $580 for a first offence, plus four demerit points. The current fine is $280.
The fine for a second offence within a year will jump to $1,400, while a third offence within a one-year period will result in a $2,100 fine. Both will also result in the vehicle being seized for seven days.
“To be clear, nothing has changed about what constitutes driving without due care and attention, or to the law restricting cellphone use while driving,” SGI said in a statement.
“The majority of distracted driving tickets are issued to people who use their phones while driving.”
SGI said distracted driving is a leading cause of safety concerns on the province’s roads and highways.
It was a factor in 22 fatalities in 2018, and 788 injuries, and played a role in over 6,000 collisions during the year, SGI said.
Police also issued 324 impaired driving tickets during the month, including 283 criminal code charges, 6,583 tickets for speeding or aggressive driving, and 387 tickets for improper seatbelt or child restraint use.
—WIth files from David Baxter