SGI begins insurer-based fines for distracted drivers in Saskatchewan

Published: March 9, 2018

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones

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Saskatchewan drivers are going to be facing harsher punishments for distracted driving according to the province’s public insurer. Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) warns motorists using wireless devices behind the wheel will get a $200 penalty from the insurer, while a second offence could result in vehicle loss for a week.

Speaking to Canadian Underwriter, Tyler McMurchy of SGI’s media relations said current laws mean distracted drivers are hut with four demerit points. However, that is not an auto insurance punishment and does not affect premiums. SGI has power to add punishment beyond provincial fines and will do so for distracted driving.

The government run auto insurance has a monopoly on basic auto insurance in Saskatchewan. Each driver is assessed by SGI on a points-based ratings scale. A scale of 0 to 25 is classed as the “safe zone” A higher score results in a better discount. However, drivers below 0 and down to -10 are in the “penalty zone” and handed a one-time $50 fine payable to SGI.

Every subsequent point lost in this penalty zone results in another $50 fine. This means motorists could pay up to $200 to SGI and $280 for the provincial fine. Distracted driving is currently the focus of SGI’s safety focus for March.