Know the Cost – Distracted Driving
The penalties for distracted driving in Alberta are steep, you could be subject to a $287 fine plus three demerits, or $543 fine plus six demerits if you are distracted and deemed to be driving recklessly. And, while Ontario has always taken a tougher stance on the matter, the province is considering new legislation to get even tougher with distracted driving convictions.
New legislation would see fines ranging from $500 to $3,000 depending on the number of offences. Additionally, a proposed new careless driving offence if approved, could see reckless drivers causing death or bodily harm facing fines of $2,000 to $50,000, imprisonment of up to two years, a license suspension of up to five years, and a hit of six demerit points.
Let’s be clear though, there is no greater cost than the loss of life or a life altering injury to you, your passengers, or other drivers.
If we take a look at the stats in Alberta as an example, there have been over 150,000 distracted driving convictions since the legislation was introduced in 2011:
- An incredible 98% of those convictions were for using hand-held electronic devices
- Driver distraction contributes to 20-30% of all collisions
- Drivers who use hand-held devices are four times more likely to get into crashes serious enough to cause death or injury.
- It takes only seconds. A study found that in 80% of collisions, the driver had looked away from the road 3 seconds prior to the crash.
LEAVE YOUR MOBILE DEVICES ALONE WHILE YOU ARE DRIVING!
- Use hands free options whenever possible. Most smart phones and many navigation systems have voice command. Familiarize yourself with how to make the most of the technology.
- If you cannot be hands free, pull over to a safe location or parking lot and do what you need.
- Plan ahead. Predetermine your route when heading somewhere new, make calls or send texts before you leave.
- Designate a passenger to help you out – navigation, phone calls, texts, etc. Your only job is focusing on the road.
In fact we’d like you to join us in taking a pledge. Talk to the drivers in your house about the dangers of distracted driving and together, visit Leave the Phone Alone to commit to being safer drivers.
Want to know more? Review these sources and resources.
Ontario Ministry of Transportation – Distracted Driving
Alberta Distracted Driving Legislation
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