The Regina Police Service has results of enforcement in 2010 around driver hand-held cellphone use and the RID (Report Impaired Drivers) program.
The amendments to the Traffic Safety Act, prohibiting the use of hand-held cellphones while driving, came into effect in January, 2010. Section 241.1 of the Act bans the use of hand-held cellphones to make or receive calls, send or receive text messages, surf the Internet or use 10-4 “push-to-talk” technology. Hands-free devices (except for new drivers), one-touch activation of a speakerphone and calling 9-1-1 are still permitted. The penalty for using a cellphone while driving is a $280.00 fine and four demerit points under the Safe Driver Recognition and Driver Improvement programs.
In the first two months of 2010, the Regina Police Service issued more warnings than tickets to drivers caught using their cellphones, but that changed as the year progressed. In 2010, there were 488 cellphone tickets issued and only 31 warnings. (See attachment for month-by-month numbers.) Enforcement of the cellphone legislation is carried out by the 18 members assigned to full-time traffic safety duty and is also done by uniformed members on patrol.
The RID, or Report Impaired Drivers, program came into effect in Regina in September of 2010. RID encourages members of the public to safely call 9-1-1 if they see a driver they suspect may be impaired. When a RID call is received in the Regina Police Service Communications Centre, a dispatcher will send an available police car to investigate. If a police car is not immediately available for dispatch, the caller is encouraged to give a description or license plate number of the suspect vehicle. Not every call results in apprehension of an impaired driver, but even in cases where police cannot attend and license plate information is obtained, then the registered owner of the vehicle is sent a letter which outlines the date, time and location the vehicle was observed being driven in an erratic manner. The letter doesn’t require further action but it makes the recipient aware of the RID program; it makes the registered owner aware of how the vehicle is being driven and it may serve as a reminder of the laws with respect to impaired driving.
Here are available results from the RID program since its launch in Regina in September 2010. The interceptions noted do not include every contact, but only those resulting in charges laid, execution of warrants, etc. In some interceptions, there is no evidence of impairment, but other charges/warrants may apply.
RID impaired charges
The Regina Police Service reminds motorists that we can all play a role in safety on our roadways. The Regina Police Service thanks the public for their interest and participation in the RID program and thanks drivers for learning and abiding by the laws around cellphone use in motor vehicles.
Regina Police Service
Summary of Cellphone Tickets and Warnings 2010