Edmonton – This winter, Alberta RCMP reminds road users that distracted driving limits a driver’s ability to focus on the driving task and road conditions. Distracted driving behaviours include talking on a cell phone, texting, reading a book, eating, attending to other passengers or pets and personal grooming.
“Alberta Transportation statistics indicate that, between Sep. 1, 2011, when distracted driving legislation was introduced, and March 31, 2018, 97 per cent of distracted driving-related convictions were for using a hand-held electronic device while driving,” says Supt. Rick Gardner, Alberta Sheriffs. “Make sure you always store your phone away from you while driving and be prepared for the unexpectedactions of other motorists or poor driving conditions.”
“Alberta RCMP Integrated Traffic Units issued 4,344 distracted driving tickets in 2018. The numbers are still too high,” says Supt. Gary Graham, Alberta RCMP Traffic Services. “Traffic safety is a shared responsibility. Distracted driving behaviours increase driver errors and, as a result, the likelihood of collisions. Distracted driving puts your safety and the safety of other road users at risk.”
Alberta RCMP encourages you to practice the following #TrafficSafety tips:
- Drive for the weather. Winter in Alberta means icy roads, reduced visibility, and limited daylight.
- Drivers are urged to slow down and give the vehicle in front of them more space.
- Leave early for extra travel time. Know the itinerary and do not attempt to read a map while driving.
- Make sure children are comfortable and properly buckled up before leaving. Prepare safe activities for the trip so they don’t get restless.
- For the safety of both pets and road users, it is best if pets are secured in an appropriate pet carrier.
- Finish grooming before leaving home. Do not comb your hair, shave or apply make-up while driving.
- Pre-set the temperature, radio or CD player. Do not make adjustments unless the vehicle is stopped.
- If you have to make a call, eat, read, take notes or engage in another distracting activity, make sure you pull over to do it safely.
The Alberta RCMP will continue to work with Alberta Sheriffs and other law enforcement and safety partners to tackle distracted driving, ensure Albertans make the right driving decisions and reduce the number of collisions in the province. Follow our #TrafficSafety tips on Facebook @RCMPinAlberta and Twitter @RCMPAlberta.