Don’t drive distracted

Distractions while driving can contribute to a fatality

Photo submitted.

Do you put on makeup at a red light or text while you’re driving? Driving while distracted is becoming enough of a concern that the month of February was dubbed Distracted Driving Month.

Although statistics from Alberta Transportation show the number of distracted driving convictions has gone down about 10 percent from 2015 to 2017, last year over 20,000 people were fined $287 and given three demerit points.

A recent advertising campaign from Alberta Transportation focuses on teenagers with one titled “Put urself before selfies” showing four young women getting ready to go out and ending in them nearly getting hit by another car while they try to take a selfie together.

The other one focuses on both friends and food:

According to the Alberta Transportation website, distracted driving includes:

  • using hand-held cell phones
  • texting or e-mailing (even when stopped at red lights)
  • using electronic devices like laptop computers, video games, cameras, video entertainment displays and programming portable audio players (e.g., MP3 players)
  • entering information on GPS units
  • reading printed materials in the vehicle
  • writing, printing or sketching
  • personal grooming (brushing and flossing teeth, putting on makeup, curling hair, clipping nails or shaving)

According to the Traffic Injury Research Foundation website “Despite increasing fines and penalties for distracted driving, nearly one in four fatal crashes in 2013 involved distraction.”

Police stress this is a big safety issue. Supt. Gary Graham, officer in charge of Alberta RCMP Traffic Services spoke to the real danger of distracted driving saying, “As a driver, you play a large part in ensuring our roads are safe.”

He stresses the importance of putting your cell phone away and focusing on the road.

“The message, then, is very simple: don’t increase your chance of being involved in a collision.”

Ninety seven per cent of over 130,000 convictions since distracted driving legislation was introduced were for using a hand-held electronic device such as a cell phone while driving. Brian Mason, minister of transportation has the final word:

“Distracted driving is dangerous at any time. Drivers need to be aware of all traffic around them, including other vehicles and vulnerable road users. Please focus on driving ­– and driving, alone.”



myra.nicks@sylvanlakenews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Military Vehicle Display and Swap Meet will bring over 40 military vehicle displays

People from across Alberta will head to Red Deer for 2nd annual event

Beach Buddy Program brings reading lakeside

Beach Buddy Program is run through the Sylvan Lake Municipal Library during the summer months

Sylvan Lake swimmer heading to Pan Pacific Championships

Elizabeth Moore will be competing at the games in Fiji Aug. 23-26.

Eckville Elementary teacher advocates positive mental health for young children

Jaleesa Grzech has written a series of books to help children deal with anxiety and stress

Harvest safety reminders from Lacombe County

Lacombe County reminds producers, residents and visitors to be safe during fall harvest operations.

‘We will not forget:’ Thousands attend funeral fallen Fredericton officers

Hundreds of officials marched in the parade, which included massed band, several police motorcycles

WATCH: Pioneer Days runs all weekend at Sunnybrook Farm

Red Deerians brave the smoke to celebrate Sunybrook’s biggest event

Ride to Reynolds Alberta Museum in Wetaskiwin

Smoky but awesome event celebrates everything ‘motorcycles;’ open Sat. Aug. 18 to 4 p.m.

Canadians believe in immigration but concerned about asylum seekers: study

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada paid for study to understand Canadian attitudes

These are the highest-paid actresses of 2018

In its list released this week Forbes said all 10 earned a total of $186 million before tax

Ponoka’s Ronnie Racing wins Hot August Night

About 15,000 people filled the Castrol Raceway stands at the motorsports complex

Vintage vehicle subject of RCMP search

Two Hills RCMP seek to identify owner of recovered 1940’s vehicle

Canada’s tax system unfairly favours wealthy, poll of CRA auditors suggests

Four of every five respondents think loopholes and tax credits built into the system benefit the rich

Banff’s Sunshine ski resort upset with proposed guidelines from Parks Canada

The plan would allow for more visitors but wouldn’t let Sunshine build additional facilities

Most Read