July 27, 2006

MADD wants to get tough on suspended Saskatchewan drivers who continue to drive

Oakville, Ontario – In light of a new study revealing that suspended Saskatchewan drivers continue to drive, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Canada is making recommendations to Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) to make the province’s roads safer.

The study by Synectics Transportation Consultants Inc., called Driving While Disqualified in Saskatchewan, reveals that drivers in the province who have had their licenses suspended for the first time due to a Criminal Code conviction continue to drive without their licenses, and without insurance.

“This study tells us many first offenders are still driving with suspended licenses,” says MADD CEO Andrew Murie, “and evidence from Canadian and U.S. studies (shows) anywhere from 60 to 75 per cent of suspended drivers drive. In Saskatchewan, we know that one in five of these suspended drivers are involved (and) caught with another traffic offence or involved in a subsequent vehicle collision. The disturbing thing about unlicensed and uninsured drivers is they are the ones who are (at) a higher risk of getting involved in a crash. In fact, this study shows that those drivers who do not complete their remedial program are more than twice as likely to (be) involved in another crash or traffic violation.”

MADD Canada’s recommendations include:

  • Reintroduce the requirement that auto body shops not carry out repairs exceeding $1,000 on a vehicle if there is no indication that the crash has been reported to police.
  • Take a more aggressive approach to vehicle impoundment for all unlicensed drivers showing clear evidence of driving as indicated in their license history.
  • Follow up with individuals failing to attend their initial addiction screening session in a timely fashion.
  • Encourage police services to distribute to field staff the names of all unlicensed drivers, their vehicle ownership and license information.
  • Increase the statutory authority of the police to stop and demand personal identification and license information.
  • Target individuals at a higher risk of driving unlicensed, through periodic sweeps of their place of residence to determine if the individual is driving.

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