Distracted driving RCMP educational focus for February

by Morinville Online Staff

Each month the Alberta RCMP and their traffic partners focus on one aspect of the annual Traffic Safety Calendar. February’s educational focus is distracted driving.

RCMP are reminding motorists of the increased dangers that come with distracted driving and that operating a vehicle on provincial streets and highways requires complete focus to reduce the risk of collision and serious injury.

“Our Traffic officers have heard every excuse for why a motorist might have been distracted driving,” said Alberta RCMP Traffic Inspector Chris Romanchych in a media release Thursday. “‘I was just checking the time, I was calling my mom, my phone fell between the seats and I had to pick it up…’ But there is never a good enough reason to put yourself and those you share the road with at such risk. Don’t drive distracted.”

RCMP offer the following tips:

  • Know a distraction when you see one. We know texting and calling on a handheld device while driving are distractions, but that’s not all. Drivers are restricted from personal grooming, reading, writing, and adjusting GPS or audio devices. Attending to passengers or pets, and other activity that impair your ability to operate a vehicle safely are also considered distractions. (Government of Alberta, 2023)
  • Set yourself up for success. Before putting your vehicle in drive, pre-set any hands-free device, GPS, radio or music. This way you do not have to worry about making any adjustments while driving.
  • Park it. If you need to text or make a call, 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.
  • Distracted driving will cost you. It is a dangerous behaviour that comes at the price of a $300 fine as well as the safety of yourself and others. In 2022, Alberta RCMP charged a total of 5,231 motorists with the offence.

For more traffic safety information, you can follow the RCMP on Facebook @RCMPinAlberta and Twitter @RCMPAlberta.

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