In 2023, the Alberta RCMP charged over 5,000 motorists for distracted driving.
“Driving requires a motorist's complete attention for them to be fully aware of their surroundings and other road users. When a motorist's focus is removed from the road, there is an increased risk of driver error, collision, and serious injury,” Mounties said in a press release.
The RCMP offers some advice to ensure that your commute remains distraction-free:
- If it impairs your driving, it's a distraction - Distracted driving is not limited to texting or talking on a cellphone. It also includes reading, writing, adjusting a GPS or audio device, attending to passengers or pets, personal grooming, or any activity that may impair your ability to operate a vehicle.
- Plan ahead - Before driving, prepare your GPS, pre-set your playlists, and do not adjust unless the vehicle is fully stopped.
- Pull over and park - If you need to text, make a call, or engage in an activity that takes your attention away from the road, pull over into a safe location and park your vehicle.
Coming to a stop at a red light to text is not safe and is still considered distracted driving.
"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. Distractions behind the wheel can have significant and lasting impacts, no matter how quick or harmless they may seem or how experienced a driver you may be. Distracted driving is dangerous and never worth the risk,” said Sergeant Darrin Turnbull, Alberta RCMP Traffic.
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