Drive your car, park your phone

The Drumheller Mail - - AROUND TOWN - Sub­mit­ted Pho­to­sub­mit­ted

If you’re look­ing down your phone, po­lice will look­ing for you.

Fe­bru­ary’s traf­fic safety fo­cus is dis­tracted driv­ing. Re­search in­di­cates that driver dis­trac­tions con­trib­ute to 20 per cent to 30 per cent of all col­li­sions and that dis­tracted driv­ers are three times more likely to be in­volved in a col­li­sion than at­ten­tive driv­ers.

Penal­ties for dis­tracted driv­ing were re­cently strength­ened and as of Jan­uary 1, 2016, any driver charged with dis­tracted driv­ing will re­ceive a $287 fine and three de­mer­its.

“Dis­tracted driv­ing can be deadly. By not pay­ing at­ten­tion for a split se­cond you run the risk of fac­ing fines - or worse, be­ing in­volved in a col­li­sion as a re­sult of be­ing dis­tracted. It’s up to all driv­ers to keep our roads safe by pay­ing at­ten­tion to the road and noth­ing else.” stated Brian Ma­son, Min­is­ter of Trans­porta­tion

“Tak­ing your eyes off the road for two or more sec­onds dou­bles your chances of be­ing in­volved in a col­li­sion. Mul­ti­task­ing skills may be a good thing to have in many sit­u­a­tions, but be­hind the wheel of a car isn’t one of them.” stated at be Supt. Ian Law­son, K Divi­sion Traf­fic Ser­vices, Royal Cana­dian Mounted Po­lice

Since Septem­ber 1, 2011, when dis­tracted driv­ing leg­is­la­tion was in­tro­duced, through March 31, 2015, there have been 87,633 con­vic­tions.

97 per cent of th­ese con­vic- tions were for us­ing a hand­held elec­tronic de­vice while driv­ing.

Dur­ing 2014-15, male driv­ers ac­counted for two-thirds of all con­vic­tions. Young male driv­ers, age 22 to 34 years, have the high­est con­vic­tion rates.

In the Driver At­ti­tude Sur­vey con­ducted in Au­gust 2014, 81 per cent of Al­berta driv­ers be­lieved dis­tracted driv­ing is the lead­ing cause of col­li­sions. De­spite this, 53 per cent of Al­berta driv­ers ad­mit­ted to tex­ting while driv­ing in the pre­vi­ous three months.

Dis­tracted driv­ing be­came law Septem­ber 1, 2011 and is one of the lead­ing causes of col­li­sion.

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