If you are one of those who likes to channel their inner cartoon Road Runner when they hit the highway, be prepared to open your pocketbook a little wider when May comes around.
The Government of Saskatchewan will be increasing the base amount paid on a speeding ticket by 30 dollars, in an effort to curb the dangerous habit and bring down Saskatchewan's notorious record.
From a law enforcement officer's perspective, Staff Sergeant Darren Lee Simons with the Carlyle RCMP detachment believes it's reasonable.
"I know personally, from talking to people and having worked in Alberta, the Alberta fines are a lot higher and the Manitoba fines are a lot higher regarding speeding. In Saskatchewan, what happens is SGI gets you on the other end: if you have too many tickets, your driver's license insurance goes up in price. That may not be the deterrent that is wanted out there, or they're just trying to catch up with other provinces."
"The big thing with speed is that it's a factor. The faster people go, the longer it takes to slow down, and you don't have as much time to react. That's why it's a factor in a lot of our collisions. Plus, people who are driving excessive speeds are usually doing other reckless things as well, because they're showing disregard for the traffic safety laws."
Simons also noted that updates to modern technology in the form of their radar and laser speed devices enables them to catch violators easily on the highway, even if you have your radar detection unit up and running.
"It always puts a little bit of a smile on my face when the guy's looking at his radar detector, then looking at me as he's getting a ticket. He's the only vehicle out there, I turn my radar on, locked him in, and he's the violator, no question. A lot of times you can see their speed drop dramatically, too. That tells you, even before you pull them over, that they have a radar detector. However, I still caught him at a higher speed."
For someone who has been in the occupation as long as Simons, you're bound to have a couple pet peeves. For himself, it's stop signs.
"Some people call it the farmer's stop, where people say, 'well, there never used to be a stop sign there'. I always go back to a tragedy I dealt with in Alberta, where a gentleman just yielded at a stop sign and got t-boned by a vehicle because he didn't do a proper stop. His pregnant wife and daughter were stuck in the vehicle with him, and he was deceased. But if he had stopped at the stop sign, chances are he'd still be with us."
"I don't give breaks at stop signs. Either you stop at the sign or don't," he added, expressing that excuses such as 'normally I do it' don't cut it for him either."