RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)

Alberta RCMP remind motorists of the importance of distraction-free driving

If you need to text or engage in any distracting activity, pull over where it is safe to do so and park your vehicle

Alberta RCMP want to remind motorists of the dangers of distracted driving.

Becoming distracted while behind the wheel forces motorists to focus their attention on something other than the road and surrounding traffic; this increases the risk of driver error and can result in collision or injury.

It is important to understand that distracted driving is not limited to texting or talking on a handheld device while operating a vehicle — it also includes reading, writing, adjusting GPS or audio devices, attending to passengers or pets, personal grooming, and any other activity that might impair your ability to drive safely. These behaviors threaten traffic safety and have no place on Alberta’s roads.

Remember the following tips to ensure your next drive is distraction-free:

· Do not groom and drive. This includes combing hair, shaving, flossing, or applying make-up.

· Pre-set your hands-free device, GPS, radio or music. Do not make adjustments unless the vehicle is stopped.

· Pull over and put it in park. If you need to text, make a call, or engage in any distracting activity, pull over where it is safe to do so and park your vehicle. Simply coming to a stop at a red light is not safe and is still considered distracted driving.

“Communities regularly ask for our help to curb dangerous driving behaviours. In 2020, 3,382 motorists were charged with distracted driving offences in Alberta RCMP jurisdictions. These drivers were fined $300 and received three demerit points,” explains Supt. Gary Graham, Alberta RCMP Traffic Services.

“Not only is distracted driving a costly offence, but it also puts the safety of all road users at risk. A quick distraction can have lasting, life-altering effects.”

For more traffic safety information, please follow us on Facebook @RCMPinAlberta and Twitter @RCMPAlberta.