St. Albert RCMP offer tips on distracted driving & pedestrian safety

submitted by St. Albert RCMP

Spring has arrived and St. Albert RCMP wanted to take the time to remind the community that both drivers and pedestrians are responsible for safety. Roadways are very dynamic environments with situations and circumstances that can change quickly.  By taking your eyes off of the road for even a moment you increase the chance of a collision or accident.

Alberta’s distracted driving law applies to all vehicles and roads in Alberta, as defined by the Traffic Safety Act.  Driver’s are reminded that the Traffic Safety Act restricts drivers from doing any of the following, even while stopped at red lights or a crosswalk:

  • using hand-held cell phones
  • texting or e-mailing
  • using electronic devices such as laptop computers, video games, cameras, video entertainment displays and programming portable audio players such as MP3 players
  • entering information on GPS units
  • reading printed materials in the vehicle
  • writing, printing or sketching
  • personal grooming such as brushing and flossing teeth, putting on makeup, curling hair, clipping nails or shaving

The penalty for distracted driving in Alberta is a $300 fine and 3 demerit points.

Pedestrians have the right of way in crosswalks, but pedestrians also have the responsibility to cross safely.  Motorists need to know the laws around stopping for pedestrians in crosswalks and ensure while they are stopped, they are not distracted by cellular devices or otherwise.

Safety tips for drivers:

  • When approaching an intersection or crosswalk be alert for pedestrians.
  • Watch for vehicles stopped or slowing in the lane next to yours. They may be yielding to a pedestrian.
  • Stay alert and slow down on residential streets and through school and playground zones.

Safety tips for pedestrians:

  • Point, Pause and Proceed – be alert at intersections and always look for danger when crossing the street.
  • Make eye contact with drivers before you cross the street.
  • Be seen – wear bright coloured or reflective clothing when walking in low light or poor weather conditions.
  • Pay attention – remove headphones; put away cellphones or other electronic devices when crossing the street.
  • Walk on the sidewalk.
  • If there is no sidewalk, walk off the road, facing traffic, staying as far away from the vehicles as possible.
  • Abide by traffic signs and signals.

St. Albert RCMP encourages the public to report any criminal or suspicious activity to the RCMP Detachment at 780-458-7700. Reports tell us where to look, who to look for, and where to patrol in the future. If you see a crime in progress, dial 911. If you wish to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), online at www.P3Tips.com or by using the “P3 Tips” app available through the Apple App or Google Play Store.

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