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Fines, stats and rules: What you need to know about distracted driving in Alberta

New Saskatchewan impaired driving and distracted driving laws in effect Jan. 1
Everything you need to know about Alberta's distracted driving law. File / Global News

Did you know that entering information in a GPS unit or putting on makeup while driving could cost you nearly $300?

February is distracted driving month and the government of Alberta is marking the occasion by releasing data on the impact of distracted driving on Alberta roads.

READ MORE: #MannequinChallenge from Calgary police, EMS highlights distracted driving  

“Research indicates that between 20 and 30 per cent of all collisions are due to distracted driving and distracted drivers are three times more likely to be involved in a collision than attentive ones,” the province said in a Wednesday media release.

Here is a crash course on Alberta’s distracted driving laws:

1. The penalty for distracted driving in Alberta is $287 and three demerit points

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2. Alberta’s distracted driving law restricts drivers from:

  • Using hand-held cellphones
  • Texting or e-mailing (even when stopped at a red light)
  • Using electronic devices like laptop computers, video games, cameras, video entertainment displays and programming portable audio players (ie. MP3 players)
  • Reading printed materials in the vehicle
  • Writing, printing or sketching
  • Personal grooming

The number of Albertans convicted for distracted driving was down slightly in 2015-16, but that’s after a significant bump the year before.

Distracted driving by the numbers (the number of distracted driving convictions, by year):

  • 2011-2012 – 8,345 (September 2011 – March 2012)
  • 2012-2013 – 25,958
  • 2013-2014 – 25,913
  • 2014-2015 – 27,417
  • 2015-2016 – 27,281