by Stephen Dafoe
While not the only thing RCMP will task themselves this month, distracted driving is on their list. Each month, the Alberta Traffic Safety Calendar has a different educational component and February’s target is distracted driving.
Alberta RCMP are using this month to remind motorists of distracted driving’s dangers.
“Communities regularly ask for our help to curb dangerous driving behaviours. In 2020, 3,382 motorists were charged with distracted driving offences in Alberta RCMP jurisdictions. These drivers were fined $300 and received three demerit points,” said Alberta RCMP Traffic Services Superintendent Gary Graham. “Not only is distracted driving a costly offence, but it also puts the safety of all road users at risk. A quick distraction can have lasting, life-altering effects.”
RCMP point out distracted driving is not limited to texting or talking on a handheld device while operating a vehicle. Distracted driving also includes reading, writing, adjusting GPS or audio devices, attending to passengers or pets, personal grooming, and any other activity that might impair your ability to drive safely. These behaviors threaten traffic safety and have no place on Alberta’s roads.
They offer the following distraction-free tips:
• Do not groom and drive. This includes combing hair, shaving, flossing, or applying make-up.
• Pre-set your hands-free device, GPS, radio or music. Do not make adjustments unless the vehicle is stopped.
• Pull over and put it in park. If you need to text, make a call, or engage in any distracting activity, pull over where it is safe to do so and park your vehicle. Simply coming to a stop at a red light is not safe and is still considered distracted driving.
More info can be found at https://www.alberta.ca/distracted-driving.aspx.