February’s traffic safety focus is distracted driving. Research indicates that driver distractions contribute to 20 per cent to 30 per cent of all collisions and that distracted drivers are three times more likely to be involved in a collision than attentive drivers.
Penalties for distracted driving were recently strengthened and as of January 1, 2016, any driver charged with distracted driving will receive a $287 fine and three demerits.
“Distracted driving can be deadly. By not paying attention for a split second you run the risk of facing fines - or worse, being involved in a collision as a result of being distracted. It’s up to all drivers to keep our roads safe by paying attention to the road and nothing else.”
“Taking your eyes off the road for two or more seconds doubles your chances of being involved in a collision. Multitasking skills may be a good thing to have in many situations, but behind the wheel of a car isn’t one of them.”
Distracted driving Facts
- Since September 1, 2011, when distracted driving legislation was introduced, through March 31, 2015, there have been 87,633 convictions.
- 97 per cent of these convictions were for using a hand-held electronic device while driving.
- During 2014-15, male drivers accounted for two-thirds of all convictions.
- Young male drivers, age 22 to 34 years, have the highest conviction rates.
- In the Driver Attitude Survey conducted in August 2014, 81 per cent of Alberta drivers believed distracted driving is the leading cause of collisions. Despite this, 53 per cent of Alberta drivers admitted to texting while driving in the previous three months.