Over 800 tickets were issued to distracted drivers in Saskatchewan this August, prompting the Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) to issue a stern warning for safer driving.
Of the 837 tickets issued by police across the province, 729 involved drivers using their phones while behind the wheel.
The remaining 108 tickets involved incidents where drivers failed to exhibit due care and attention, with some getting caught for watching YouTube or even solving Rubik's cubes.
Distracted driving and driving without due care and attention offenses result in hefty fines that start at $580 and come with four demerit points against the driver's license, according to SGI. Repeat offenders face even stricter penalties, including a $1,400 ticket and a seven-day vehicle impoundment.
In addition to distracted driving incidents, Saskatchewan police caught 494 impaired drivers in August, leading to 212 criminal code charges and 282 administrative suspensions.
Law enforcement also issued 419 tickets for various seatbelt and car seat violations and 4,880 tickets for speeding and aggressive driving offenses.
SGI has emphasized the importance of “keeping your phone out of your hand and not letting any other distractions or activities take your focus away from safely operating the vehicle.”
It reminded drivers who pass through school zones to follow the reduced speed limits and watch out for kids, especially around intersections and crosswalks.
The Crown corporation will also continue improving school zone safety by working closely with law enforcement.
Earlier this year, SGI partnered with MADD Canada to launch a video education program to curb impaired driving among the youth.
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