Distracted driving is the focus for traffic safety partners during the month of February. Advertising online, on billboards and on radio will tell Albertans ‘Crotches Kill’ and driving safely requires keeping your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road.
Police in Alberta are seeing more crashes resulting from distracted driving, and despite the efforts of the government, enforcement and traffic partners, the trend is growing.
During February, Alberta’s Integrated Traffic Services, made up of Alberta Traffic Sheriffs and RCMP Traffic members will focus on enforcing distracted driving laws on highways in order to get the message out – distracted driving can cost you more than a data package. It can result in fines or worse – it can result in a fatal collision.
“Even with all this information going out, some drivers are still not getting the message,” said RCMP Supt. Howard Eaton, officer-in-charge, RCMP ‘K’ Division Traffic Services. “We are still attending crashes caused by driver inattention and we still see people talking on the phone, texting or even watching movies.”
Eaton recalls a recent event in which Integrated Traffic members received reports of a vehicle being driven erratically during a snowstorm on the QE II Hwy. Callers indicated the driver was watching a movie from his laptop. When police stopped the vehicle, the driver was actually watching a movie from his laptop on the dashboard.
RCMP Supt. James Stiles of the Alberta Traffic Sheriffs agrees that the behaviour is dangerous and troubling.
“Driving is a full-time responsibility. It demands all your attention, and when you give it less than your full attention, it can have devastating consequences for you and others who share the road with you.”