March 24, 2015 8:31 am
Updated: March 24, 2015 8:33 am

One step closer to stricter distracted driving penalties in Alberta

Toronto police will be conducting a distracted driving blitz Tuesday morning.

Toronto police will be conducting a distracted driving blitz Tuesday morning.

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EDMONTON – A bill that could increase penalties for distracted driving is closer to being put into action.

Calgary MLA Moe Amery is pushing the province to increase the fine from $172 to $250, as well as adding three demerit points to the driver’s license.

Bill 204, a private member’s bill put forward by Amery, passed third reading on Monday night. Amery introduced the bill in December saying the current deterrent wasn’t enough.

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READ MORE: Alberta MLA wants to beef up distracted driving penalty

Alberta’s Justice Minister Jonathan Denis has said he’s spoken with local police agencies and demerit points are something  they want to pursue.

Alberta’s distracted driving law came into effect in Sept. 2011. The number of tickets issued continues to grow since the law came into effect, according to police.

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

There were 25,913 convictions for distracted driving in Alberta last year. Of those, 96 per cent were for using a hand-held electronic device while driving.

Amery is confident Bill 204 will become law by the end of next week.

© 2015 Shaw Media

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