Penalties for distracted driving set to increase across Saskatchewan

Driving while using a cellphone could become more expensive in the near future.

The provincial government announced Wednesday during the throne speech there will be an increase in penalties for distracted driving offences in Saskatchewan, but did not elaborate on what the new penalties will be and when they’ll be put in place.

Regina Police Constable Michael Seel said the current $280 fine is still impactful to those who get caught.

“They know they shouldn’t be doing it, and the fine is a hefty fine, it’s one of the bigger ones except for unregistered vehicles right now,” Cst. Seel said. “When I pull up beside people, they drop their phone immediately, so they don’t want to get caught, but they decide to do it anyway.”

Sandra LaRose is a distracted driving advocate, and said no matter how much the fine goes up, her daughter Kailynn, who died in a distracted driving collision in 2018, paid the ultimate price.

“She’s got friends, other family, herself, and others that didn’t even get to met her,” LaRose said. “She didn’t get a chance to go grad dress shopping, I bought an urn instead; I didn’t pay for university, I paid for a funeral, there’s so many comparisons that I can make that are endless.”

Cellphone related distracted driving legislation was introduced in 2009. The current $280 fine for first time offenders has not increased since.

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