Owner upset after employee gets company truck impounded

Saskatchewan to amend rules for seizing company vehicles

A Saskatoon business owner is upset his vehicle was impounded after an employee was caught using a mobile phone while driving.

Last week, an employee of K3 Excavating was caught for the second time driving while using his phone. This time, he was driving a work truck and the vehicle was impounded for seven days.

Owner Kevin Boychuk said he's the victim of a technicality and it's costing him at least $800 per day, plus hundreds of dollars in towing and impound fees.

According to SGI, the vehicle being driven at the time of an offence will be seized, regardless of whether the offender is the registered owner or not. SGI says that if someone allows another person to drive their vehicle, and that person commits an offence, are suspended or disqualified from driving, then the vehicle can be impounded. The registered owner of the vehicle is then responsible for the impound and towing fees.

"You know a commercial vehicle is a very dangerous vehicle if it's loaded, and in this case, pulling a trailer in traffic and you're distracted because you're on the cell phone or texting," said Earl Cameron, vice president of SGI Auto Fund.

Change in rules needed

Boychuk said that SGI needs to make changes to these rules.

"It just didn't make any sense that the company who did not commit the traffic offence, nor did any of the owners of the company commit the traffic offence, that we were being punished quite severely," he said.

"Our company certainly supports the law but a change to the regulations [is needed] to help businesses to get their earning equipment back."

Boychuk said he doesn't think it's a deterrent to punish a company when it already has policies and procedures in place.

However, Cameron said that employers can always make sure there is Bluetooth or hands free technology installed to ensure workers don't have to pick up the phone.

"I'm sympathetic to owners, but there's also a responsibility on owners to make sure their drivers have good driving records," he said. "When you hire someone, you check that out — especially a commercial driver."

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