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

Sylvan Lake Pirates force Whitecourt Wild to walk the plank

The Pirates have played their way to back-to-back wins to sit seventh in regular season standings.

Sylvan Lake students prepare for opening night of ‘Almost, Maine”

Students and staff from H.J. Cody have been hard at work since September to bring Almost to life

WATCH: Sylvan Lake’s Daddy/Daughter Dance

The event was put on by SPARC Parent’s Association on Nov. 17

West Central Midget Tigers pounce on Airdrie

The Tigers’ regular season record is 10-1-2 after two wins this weekend

Big Bear Energy makes a big donation to Sylvan Lake Christmas Bureau

Big Bear Energy recently gave a donation to help families in need this holiday season

VIDEO: Shoppers like self-checkout lanes at the grocery store, survey suggests

Grocery Experience National Survey Report suggests most grocery shoppers spend 32 minutes per visit

Former NHL player and coach Dan Maloney dies at 68

Maloney coached the Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets

Ex-MSU president charged with lying to police about Nassar

Lou Anna Simon was charged Tuesday with lying to police during an investigation

Police looking into two more incidents at private Toronto all-boys’ school

Police and the school have said two of the prior incidents involved an alleged sexual assault

25% of Canadians still won’t say they use pot, survey says

Statistics Canada poll says Canadians on average were 18.9 years old when they first tried pot.

The latest advent calendar trend: Holiday cannabis

A Canadian company is giving people from coast to coast a new way to celebrate the Christmas countdown.

Ponoka’s Caleb Shimwell arrested after pursuit

Police allege that Shimwell rammed a police cruiser

731,000 Canadians going into debt to buy prescription drugs: UBC

Millennials and those without private coverage were more likely to borrow money

Most Read