People who are caught driving impaired or engaging in other high risk driving behaviours including cellphone use will face tougher vehicle seizure consequences when new traffic safety laws come into effect June 27.
“We believe harsher penalties, including the inconvenience of being without a vehicle for several days, will deter people from choosing to drive while impaired, or using a cellphone,” said Andrew Cartmell, President and CEO of SGI. “Short-term vehicle seizures have been credited with reducing fatalities related to impaired driving in B.C. and Alberta, and we hope to see a similar impact in Saskatchewan.”
New consequences for impaired/distracted driving include:
- Drivers impaired by either alcohol or drugs will face immediate roadside vehicle seizures that increase in severity from three to 14 days, depending on driver experience and the number of previous offences.
- Drivers being charged with exceeding .08 blood alcohol content( BAC) or refusing a breath test will have their vehicle seized for up to 60 days.
- Drivers caught using their cellphone while driving for the second time within one year will have their vehicle seized for up to seven days.
- Drivers caught for other distracted driving offences (such as personal grooming, eating, etc.) for the third time within one year will have their vehicle seized for up to seven days.
Vehicle seizures will range from three to 60 days, depending on the number of previous offences on the driver’s record. The vehicle being driven at the time of the offence is the one that will be seized, regardless of whether the offender is the registered owner or not.
Vehicle seizures will also apply for the following high-risk offences:
- Driving as a learner while unaccompanied (for three days on a second or subsequent offence within one year)
- Driving an unregistered vehicle (for seven days on a second or subsequent offence within one year)
- Stunting (for three days on a second or subsequent offence within one year)
- Exceeding the speed limit by more than double the speed (for seven days on a second or subsequent offence within one year)
- Exceeding the speed limit by more than 50 km/h (for seven days on each offence)
- Contest of speed or race with other vehicles (for 30 days on each offence)
- Failing to stop for a peace officer (for seven days on each offence)
- All Criminal Code charges which constitute an offence under the Traffic Safety Act (for 30 days on each offence)
“Distracted driving and excessive speed are high-risk driving behaviours that lead to collisions,” said Cartmell. “In fact, along with impaired driving, they make up the top contributing factors in fatal crashes in our province.”
For more information regarding all upcoming traffic law changes, visit SGI’s website at www.sgi.sk.ca.