Distracted driving legislation passed in Alberta

The Alberta government has passed the most comprehensive distracted driving legislation in Canada.

Bill 16, the Traffic Safety (Distracted Driving) Amendment Act 2010, restricts the use of hand-held cell phones and activities like texting, reading, writing, personal grooming and puts restrictions on using other electronic devices while driving.

The new legislation will come into force upon proclamation, with an anticipated grace period and could take effect by the middle of 2011.

“This is a great day for traffic safety in our province,” said Luke Ouellette, Alberta’s minister of transportation. “This legislation is a bold approach and goes beyond restricting cell phones and deals with the broader issue of distracted driving. Our message is clear: Keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road.”

This legislation permits the use of hands-free phones. Also, radio communication devices such as CB radios are allowed for commercial purposes and search and rescue services like 911. This legislation does not affect the official duties of emergency service personnel including law enforcement, fire and medical services.

The proposed fine for the distracted driving offence is $172 with no demerit points. Drivers engaged in any of the identified activities can be charged under this new law. A distracted driver could face additional charges if they commit other violations such as running a red light or making an improper lane change.

This legislation complements the current driving without due care and attention law – a serious offence with a fine of $402 and six demerit points.

In the coming months, the province will launch a public education and awareness campaign to help Albertans understand the details of the legislation. This will be coordinated with traffic safety stakeholders and law enforcement.

Examples of fines in other provinces include $167 in B.C. and three demerits; $280 in Saskatchewan and four demerits and $200 in Manitoba with no demerits.

The penalty in Ontario is $155 and no demerits while drivers in Quebec face fines of between $115 and $154 and three demerits.

The province said that international research shows that 20 to 30% of all collisions involve driver distraction and that goes way beyond just cell phone use.

efawcett@reddeerexpress.com

Just Posted

WATCH: Red Deerians come together to ‘light the night’

Traditional Red Deer Lights the Night sees thousands

Klaus trial continues with cross-examination of undercover officers

The Castor-area triple homicide trial continued on Friday

WATCH: Red Deerians get a taste of robotics

Alberta students show off their skills in Red Deer

Red Deer RCMP make high volume of arrests

Numerous suspects arrested in relation to property crime offences

Red Deer RCMP arrest two with multiple stolen IDs

Men had allegedly had stolen information from 15 people

WATCH: Red Deerians get a taste of robotics

Alberta students show off their skills in Red Deer

Dead boy’s father posts Facebook response after Appeal Court upholds conviction

David, Collet Stephan were found guilty in their son Ezekiel’s 2012 death from bacterial meningitis

Bank of Canada cautious of future rate hikes

The Bank of Canada remains cautious on future rate hikes due to low- inflation risk

London theatre received allegations against Kevin Spacey

The theatre said Thursday the 20 allegations deal with incidents between 1995 and 2013.

Da Vinci’s Christ painting sells for record $450M

The painting, “Salvator Mundi,” Latin for “Savior of the World,” is one a few paintings by Leonardo known to exist

Loblaws closing 22 stores, launching home delivery ahead of ‘difficult year’

“We are excited about our future. But…we expect 2018 will be a difficult year,” said Galen G. Weston, Loblaw CEO.

Walk of Fame bash celebrates David Suzuki, Donovan Bailey, Anna Paquin

Suzuki says he’ll be thinking of his late parents as he accepts the honour

Trudeau to personally unveil Liberals’ peacekeeping plan

This marks Canada’s first tangible step back into peacekeeping

Blake Shelton named Sexiest Man Alive 2017

“I think to describe myself as a child, one word comes to mind. And that’s fat.”

Most Read