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.
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.
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.