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Hundreds of vehicles seized in Saskatchewan under new traffic laws

REGINA – Hundreds of vehicles have been seized and close to 900 penalties have been handed out for impaired driving since new traffic laws were enacted in Saskatchewan.

According to figures released from Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI), 515 people were handed roadside suspensions for impaired driving between June 27, when the new laws came into effect, and the end of July.

Along with those suspensions, 352 vehicles were seized from impaired drivers.

While roadside suspensions are down from the 733 handed out during the same period in 2013, it is still troubling for Andrew Cartmell, CEO and president of SGI.

“There’s simply no excuse for drinking and driving when there are so many options for getting home safely,” said Cartmell in a release.

“Thanks to new vehicle seizure laws, drivers that don’t plan a safe ride home and choose to drive while impaired can now be removed from the road immediately, reducing the risk of a senseless collision and possible injury or death.”

IN DEPTH: What you need to know about the new Saskatchewan traffic laws

Police also seized 153 vehicles for high-risk driving, including 54 for driving an unregistered vehicle, 31 for going more than 50 km/h over the speed limit and 12 for unaccompanied learner drivers.

Another 280 vehicles were seized for unauthorized drivers.

The province brought in tougher penalties for impaired, distracted and high-risk driving after recommendations were made following a record 184 traffic fatalities in 2012.

Preliminary numbers from SGI show 135 people were killed on Saskatchewan roads and highways in 2013.

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