Cellphones an 'addiction' behind the wheel, officer says
SASKATOON -- As the province is preparing new legislation for distracted drivers, Saskatoon police say the cell phone has become mind controlling on the road.
“I truly believe that it's a form of addiction,” Staff Sgt. Patrick Barbar said.
Starting Feb. 1, fines for a first offence of distracted driving will increase to $580 from $280 with four demerit points docked on their license.
A second offence within a year would rise to $1,400 with an additional four demerits and a seven day vehicle seizure.
“I mean it's difficult, some people won't be deterred by anything but certainly higher fines will make people think and the potential for losing your vehicle, which already exists,” Barbar said.
“Knowing that you can lose your car and have to pay a fine and get points. If you're still willing to do it, there has to be a pretty high drive.”
Year to date, SPS have charged more than 3,500 drivers with distracted driving. Barbar said people need to overcome that addiction to their cell phone to keep them from using it behind the wheel.