The government of Saskatchewan is notifying drivers that distracted driving penalties will become stricter in February 2020.
A ticket for distracted driving currently costs drivers $280 with four demerit points. Once the new regulations go into effect, drivers will have to pay $580 for a distracted driving ticket.
If a driver commits a second offence within a year of first being convicted, they are going to receive a $1,400 ticket. They will also receive an additional four demerit points with an immediate seven-day vehicle seizure.
Additionally, if a driver commits a third offence within a year of being convicted for the first one, they are going to receive a $2,100 ticket along with another seven-day vehicle seizure and four demerit points.
Drivers are responsible for the towing and impound fees, which the government says are typically around $400.
The Saskatchewan government says distracted driving is one of the top causes of accidents and fatalities. It says that in 2018, distracted driving was a factor in more than 6,000 accidents, 774 injuries and 22 deaths.
Under The Traffic Safety Act, distracted driving occurs when a driver uses “electronic communications equipment (cell phone)” while driving, or when a person drives without care and attention.
Source: Government of Saskatchewan