February 8, 2019 8:35 pm
Updated: February 9, 2019 12:38 am

Lethbridge Police Service taking part in provincewide campaign targeting distracted drivers

In an effort to reduce the number of distracted drivers on Alberta roads, law enforcement agencies throughout the province are targeting those who are not paying attention behind the wheel. The Lethbridge Police Service is one of many agencies that is taking part in the month-long campaign. Chris Chacon reports.

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In an effort to reduce the number of distracted drivers on Alberta roads, law enforcement agencies throughout the province are targeting motorists who don’t pay attention when they’re behind the wheel.

The Lethbridge Police Service is one of many agencies taking part in the month-long campaign and hoping to make a difference.

“We’re focusing on distracted driving, and within Lethbridge, if our police officers catch you driving distracted, you will be fined,” said Sgt. Rod Pastoor.

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READ MORE: Should Alberta adopt similar distracted driving legislation as Ontario?

Sending an important text message or looking at your latest social media notice could cost you: the penalty in Alberta is a fine of $287 and three demerits.

Motorists who are caught using any sort of handheld device, reading printed materials, writing, sketching or even performing personal grooming while in the driver’s seat will be pulled over and fined.

To avoid a ticket, using a device in hands-free mode is just fine. Drivers are also able to drink a beverage, eat a snack or smoke while on the road.

“Distracted drivers are three times more likely to be involved in collisions and, of course, with that is property damage, injuries, fatalities, and we want to stop that,” added Pastoor.

Police aren’t the only ones sharing this message of safety. The Lethbridge Driving Academy incorporates distracted driving safety information into its teaching for all students who pursue their licence.

READ MORE: Toronto police to launch rush hour blitz on vehicles blocking lanes

“Having the students understand the driving environment and being able to focus on what is happening within that driving environment is ultimately very, very important,” said Adrian Brown, senior instructor at Lethbridge Driving Academy.

“If you are taking your eyes off the road, the car is still moving, whether you are looking at a passenger, whether you are adjusting the radio, the worst case if you are even on your phone. The phones are the worst because it takes your eyes off the road.”

Brown added: “We’re not the only person on the road. We have many other people who use our road ways and we need to look out for them.”

The provincewide distracted driving campaign wraps up at the end of February.

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