Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Preparing for distracted driving legislation

If you're behind the wheel, put away the cell phone, camera, video game and electric razor or be prepared to pay.

With the distracted driving legislation coming into effect on Sept. 1, 2011, the Calgary Police Service is reminding drivers that this is the ideal time to practice safe and non-distracted driving.

“We’re not going to be jumping out from behind a tree to issue a ticket to someone glancing at a map at a stop sign," says Sgt. Michael Watterston. "However, if we see someone obviously flouting the law, driving with their knees, reading a map and sending a text, then they can certainly expect a ticket,”

With just over a week to go before Bill 16 becomes law, motorists are encouraged to get into a healthy habit when it comes to concentrating 100 per cent when behind the wheel.
Anyone blatantly disregarding the law in this first month and driving at the extreme end of the distracted driving scale may find themselves with a $172 fine.

“Our priority is to ensure we do everything we can to keep our streets safe. This new legislation is a great tool for us to use to help us achieve this goal,” added Sgt. Watterston.

The legislation is one of the most comprehensive in the country and prohibits:
  • Using hand-held cell phones

  • Texting or e-mailing

  • 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

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