by MorinvilleNews.com Staff
The Alberta Traffic Safety Calendar is published each year to advise Albertans of the monthly areas of education Alberta RCMP and their policing partners take part in.
February’s focus, which does not mean it is the only policing activity taking place, is distracted driving.
This month, police are reminding motorists of the importance of distraction-free driving because when eyes are removed from the road, driver error, collision, and serious injury are at an increased risk.
In 2023, Alberta RCMP charged more than 5,000 motorists with the offence in 2023.
“That quick text or GPS adjustment can have big costs. A distracted driving fine is $300, but even worse than that, it can cost you your life, or someone else’s” said Sergeant Darrin Turnbull, Alberta RCMP Traffic, in a media release Wednesday. “Distractions behind the wheel can have significant and lasting impacts, no matter how quick or harmless they may seem, or how experienced of a drive you may be. Distracted driving is dangerous and never worth the risk.”
RCMP offer the following tips:
- If it impairs your driving – it’s a distraction. Distracted driving is not limited to texting or talking on a handheld device while operating a vehicle — it also includes personal grooming, reading, writing, adjusting GPS or audio devices, attending to passengers or pets, and any other activity that might impair your ability to operate a vehicle safely.
- Plan ahead. Before putting your vehicle in drive, prepare by pre-setting your hands-free device, GPS, radio or 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.
For additional traffic safety information, follow the Alberta RCMP on Facebook @RCMPinAlberta and Twitter @RCMPAlberta and follow #BadRoadmance.