September 1, 2014 5:16 pm

Alberta’s distracted driving legislation not changing driver habits: RCMP

An RCMP corporal believes more needs to be done to reduce the number of distracted driving violations in Alberta, Monday, September 1, 2014.

Global News

EDMONTON – It’s been three years since the Alberta government introduced distracted driving legislation, but police are still handing out plenty of tickets to drivers not adhering to the law.

RCMP Cpl. Chris Little says the legislation hasn’t improved driving habits.

“After three years we’ve seen the incidents actually rising, so it’s getting worse. I noticed when the legislation was first introduced that there was a drop off but I’ve found that it’s worse than ever.”

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Read More: Enforcement of Alberta distracted driving law begins

So what’s the cause? It’s driver apathy according to Cpl. Little, and he doesn’t believe more education will solve the problem.

“I think the legislation itself, although very good, there’s not enough deterrence with it. I think we need demerit points associated to the legislation. We also need higher fines.”

Read More: ‘Crotches Kill': Alberta government drives home dangers of distracted driving

Distracted driving was among several violations RCMP officers were consistently catching drivers break during the Labour Day long weekend; driving at an excessive speed was another infringement, which Little says has been a recent unwanted trend.

“The amount of speed and the range of speed is certainly up. Higher speeds are on the rise.”

Little says one driver was pulled over by police for driving at 184 km/h in a 110 km/h zone. The driver said he was speeding because he had to use the bathroom. The explanation didn’t get him off receiving a ticket.

Drivers in Edmonton are being reminded of the new school zone legislation that begins Tuesday outside elementary grade schools across the city, which will see the speed limit drop from 50 km/h to 30 km/h.

© Shaw Media, 2014

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