Police issue 1,456 tickets to distracted drivers

Police say Calgary motorists are slipping back into bad habits four months after Alberta adopted a tough new law targeting distracted drivers.

Motorists at first paid attention to new law, but seem to be returning to old habits, police say

Police in Calgary say they have written almost 1,500 tickets since Alberta's new distracted driving law took effect. ((CBC))

Police say Calgary motorists are slipping back into bad habits four months after Alberta adopted a tough new law targeting distracted drivers.  

Officers have handed out 1,456 tickets to drivers in Calgary since the law took effect on Sept.1. 

Violaters face a $172 fine under the Traffic Safety (Distracted Driving) Amendment Act. Most of the infractions were for using hand-held cellphones, police said.

But a few were issued for using electronic devices such as GPS systems and MP3 players.

"Despite awareness campaigns and enforcement, we are now seeing more and more people taking the risk with their lives as well as the lives of others," said traffic education officer Mike Hagen.

Police said motorists should keep their eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel.

The distracted driving law prohibits:

  • Holding, viewing or talking on a hand-held cellphone, or texting or emailing.
  • Having a TV, computer or other display screen within view.
  • Manually operating a GPS device.
  • Reading books, newspapers or other texts, as well as writing or sketching.
  • Personal grooming.