SGI and law enforcement were shining the Traffic Safety Spotlight on disqualified drivers and those driving without valid insurance over the month of November. Police noted 302 offences for driving while suspended or disqualified, they issued 519 tickets for operating a motor vehicle without valid registration, and 345 tickets for driving without a valid licence or failing to abide by licence restrictions.
"That's a significant concern," explained Tyler McMurchy with SGI, "because people don't get suspended without cause. They may be suspended due to impaired driving or other dangerous driving behaviours, or something like a medical condition. If they're taking a risk driving without a licences, what other risks are they taking?"
"Anyone who drives without a license is endangering their life and the lives others on the road, because according to the law, they are not qualified to be behind the wheel."
"Unfortunately, we know many suspended and disqualified drivers do continue to drive after their license has been suspended. this is illegal and it also has serious implications for insurance coverage in the event of a crash. If an uninsured driver is responsible for a crash, they won't have insurance to cover the damages."
Police are trying to crack down on these offenses by using automated license plate readers (ALPRs).
"Throughout Saskatchewan, there are dozens of police cars equipped with these ALPRs, these automated license plate readers. What they do is, they automatically scan license plates as they are driving around and if there is a flag on that license plate, for example, if the license plate is expired, that will register in the car and the police officer can pull the person over. Likewise, if that plate is associated with someone who is suspended, that will also alert the police officer."
"If you are driving an unregistered vehicle, that could be a $580 ticket. If you are driving while suspended, that's more significant and can lead to Criminal Code charges, fines, vehicle seizures, and other future driving restrictions."