Saskatchewan has been cracking down hard on distracted driving, with 1,087 charges laid between January and November 2017.
During the same span in 2016, only 574 charges were laid, according to the November 2017 Board of Police Commissioner’s report. The change likely has to do with Saskatchewan’s new BusCop program, which sees police officers survey driver activity from city buses, as well as changes to the way drivers can legally use their phones.
Those changes took effect in Saskatchewan as of January 1st, 2017, specifying that the ban applies to “holding, viewing, using or manipulating” a handheld device rather than just the more vague term “using” which was previously in place.
As for BusCop, the Regina Police Traffic Unit implemented the operation in 2017. According to the most recent Board of Police Commissioner’s report, the operation ran more than 24 times and resulted in 207 charges, with 117 generated from cell phone use.
Meanwhile, most Canadian drivers are concerned the issue of distracted driving is only getting worse. In a December 2017 press release, CAA revealed the results of its annual poll, revealing that 83 percent of Canadians believe texting while driving is a more significant problem today than it was just three years ago.