Drivers whose cars are stolen with the keys inside could soon face financial penalties in Saskatchewan.

Saskatchewan Government Insurance says it is in discussions with police about implementing insurance penalties or fines for drivers whose vehicles are stolen while the keys are inside.

“We’re looking at what would be the most effective for changing behaviour,” SGI’s auto fund executive vice-president Earl Cameron said Thursday.

“We looked at whether it would be a fine or whether it would be insurance consequences that would make customers not leave their keys in their vehicles, which unfortunately ended up in a tragedy this week in Saskatoon.”

The conversation between law enforcement and the provincial insurance provider comes amid another stolen-vehicle crash in Saskatoon — this one on Monday night.

The city’s police said a 22-year-old man was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash. He was the driver of a stolen truck that rammed a police cruiser before colliding with a vehicle at Circle Drive and Airport Drive, according to police. The truck’s keys were in the vehicle when it was stolen.

Nearly 1,050 vehicle thefts were reported to Saskatoon police in 2015.

Chief Clive Weighill said this week 60 to 65 per cent of stolen vehicles in the city are taken with keys in them.

“We’re having vehicles that are stolen constantly in the city of Saskatoon with vehicles or a fob that are left in the vehicle. It’s an open opportunity for people to steal a vehicle,” he said, noting his frustration.

“They’re just a target waiting to happen, when your keys are left in that vehicle.”

Monday’s death was the fourth fatality in three years in the city tied to vehicles stolen with keys inside.

Cameron said the thefts also likely contribute to increased insurance premiums.

“I wouldn’t have the dollars yet, but certainly it’s a cost to all Saskatchewan motorists because, as you know, SGI breaks even over time, so if you have enough claims, premiums need to go up,” he said. “It’s an easy one to prevent. Just don’t leave your keys in your car.”

A central issue in the conversation is determining whether the keys were left intentionally.

“That’s really the issue, because as owners of vehicles we could easily for a split second forget or leave our keys in,” Cameron said. “Someone who is deliberately hiding their keys in their car for convenience, I mean obviously that’s a little bit different than someone who just accidentally forgot it in their coat when they ran in to do something.”

A fine or insurance penalty would require government approval. Police would handle fine enforcement while SGI would handle insurance penalties, according to Cameron.

--- Angelina Irinici contributed to this report