Here’s how Saskatoon police can catch you driving distracted

Distracted driving has caused more injuries than impaired driving and one in five accidents are caused by someone driving distracted, SGI spokesperson Tyler McMurchy says.

“There’s no phone, phone call, there’s no text, there’s no Instagram story or message on snap. Whatever the kids are using, there’s no TikTok video that’s worth potentially injuring or killing somebody.”

Saskatoon police and SGI started October’s Traffic Safety Spotlight on Monday with a focus on distracted driving.

“People are aware that this is an issue but I think any of us who spend any time driving in this province it’s not hard to spot somebody on their phone. It’s not going to be hard for the police officer just down the block to spot people on their phones pulling them over and giving them very expensive tickets and who wants that?”

Saskatoon police are finding creative ways to catch people driving distracted and that this campaign will be no different.

“We are using a position where the officer is elevated compared to the roadway. The officer is able to see easily into vehicles and other officers are flagging those vehicles and issuing tickets,” said Staff Sergeant Patrick Barbar.

Offenders face a $580 ticket and four demerit points for either driving without due care and attention, and holding, using, manipulating or viewing a handheld cellphone.

Repeat offences within one year result in significantly higher ticket costs: $1,400 for a second ticket and $2,100 for a third ticket. A seven–day vehicle impoundment will also occur in both instances.

Close to 3,000 tickets are handed out due to distracted driving every year and most are due to phone distractions.

Barbar expects the number to be even higher because he says people are not taking the issue seriously enough.

“Using your phone takes away your attention from what is important and you know we talk about human toll, the injuries, the deaths, and certainly with what the world is going through right now, anything that is preventable, we should really be trying to avoid these preventable injuries."