SGI and local law enforcement are concentrating on suspended drivers and unregistered vehicles for the month of November.
"People don't get suspended without reason," shared Tyler McMurchy, Manager of Media Relations for SGI. "They might get suspended for impaired driving or other dangerous driving behaviours or a medical condition. If they're willing to risk driving without a license or if a Court had told them that you're not allowed to drive, what other risks are they taking?"
"Anyone who drives without a license is endangering the lives of others on the road because according to the law, they are not qualified to be behind the wheel."
"It's unfortunate but many drivers do continue to drive after their license has been suspended which is illegal."
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 the insurance to cover the damages which could be a hardship on them as well as the other victims of the crash. SGI would likely cover the damages for the innocent party and then collect from the driver. If you're uninsured and even if you're driving a car that isn't worth that much, if you slam into somebody's $60,000 truck or somebody's house, the property damage bills can add up quickly."
Law enforcement will be keeping an extra eye out for these drivers using an automated license plate reader (ALPR). There are 138 ALPRs in the province with another 18 more coming early next year.
"These machines automatically scan and check every single license plate they encounter. They not only detect unregistered vehicles, if that license plate is associated with a driver who has been suspended, it will flag that too."
They can also check for stolen vehicles or a vehicle that is associated with an Amber Alert. As well, some vehicles used by conservation officers are also equipped with ALPRs.
The fines and consequences associated with getting caught are pretty significant.
"If you're driving around with an unregistered vehicle, it is a $580 fine. If your driver's license is suspended and you're caught driving while disqualified, you'll face penalties either under the Traffic Safety Act or the Criminal Code of Canada depending on the circumstances."
The vehicle will also be towed and impounded for 30 days whether or not it belongs to you and you will be responsible for all fees incurred with that.
It could also see you face jail time as well.
"If you're driving while disqualified, you're going to court and you can be fined up to $5,000, you could be imprisoned up to five years depending on the nature of your conviction."
He added that it's just not worth the risk.