Police Putting License Plate Readers to Use
Just a heads up, folks, police across the province are putting a little extra work in on looking for suspended drivers and unregistered vehicles in November, so, if you're driving suspended or your vehicle has outdated plates you might want to be a little more cautious. Or plan another ride. Or solve whatever problems are in your way.
Tyler McMurchy, SGI's Manager of Media Relations pointed out that the "first thing you learn in driver education is that driving is a privilege, not a right."
Thanks to automated licence plate readers (ALPRs), looking for vehicles that shouldn't be on the road is fairly easy for police across the province. ALPRs are installed in law enforcement vehicles throughout the province. They scan and check every single licence plate they come across, so if a vehicle is uninsured, owned by a suspended driver, reported stolen or otherwise flagged in some way, the device immediately alarms police.
“Not only is it illegal to drive without a licence or insurance, but it’s dangerous,” said Penny McCune, Chief Operating Officer of the Auto Fund. “These people may be suspended due to impaired driving, other dangerous driving behaviours or a medical condition. If they’re willing to risk driving without a licence or insurance, what other risks are they taking?”
SGI funded 138 ALPRs in the province and there are 18 more expected to be installed by March 2019. Additional ALPRs will be installed in Ministry of Environment vehicles over time as part of the provincial Protection and Response Team’s efforts to reduce crime and expand the level of traffic enforcement in the province.
"On any given day, there are about 54,000 suspended Saskatchewan drivers" added McMurchy. "Some are suspended for a few days, some indefinitely, some for one reason, some for multiple reasons. Some of these people, regardless of the penalties or legal prohibitions, choose to continue driving. Plus, a number of them choose to drive uninsured vehicles"
Furthermore, McMurchy added, "if you’re driving without a licence, a suspended licence, or an unregistered vehicle, you could be on the hook for all damages you cause – to your vehicle and anything you hit. Think about that! Maybe you don’t care if your low-valued vehicle isn’t covered in a collision – but what if you crash into a vehicle worth $50,000, or even a house?"
“Regardless of why you ‘think’ it’s okay to drive without a licence, it isn’t. There are no excuses,’” said McCune. “If you’re caught, you will be charged and face costly consequences.”
The consequences for driving with a suspended licence include potential Criminal Code charges, fines, jail time and vehicle seizures. Consequences escalate with subsequent convictions. For example, you’ll receive a one-year provincial suspension and go to -20 on the Safe Driver Recognition scale for your first Criminal Code Conviction. If you’re convicted a second time, you’ll receive a three-year provincial suspension and another 10 demerits. A third conviction is a five-year provincial suspension. If you don’t have a licence for more than five years, you have to re-do all driver testing to get your licence back. The fine for driving an unregistered vehicle is $580 and one demerit point in the Driver Improvement Program. Repeat offences result in a seven-day vehicle seizure.