Put the phone away: 78 distracted drivers ticketed in February

By rdnewsNOW staff
March 7, 2018 - 1:33pm

Chances are they didn’t see it coming.

A total of 78 Red Deer drivers were hit with tickets for distracted driving last month.

Red Deer RCMP and Community Peace Offiers issued the tickets as part of their month-long campaign targeting inattentive drivers through campaigns and patrols.

Those tickets cost each driver $287 and three demerits.

“These numbers are not surprising but they are extremely disappointing,” says Sergeant Kevin Halwa of the Red Deer RCMP traffic unit.

“Despite all the research showing that distracted driving significantly increases the risk of a crash, many drivers continue to engage in this dangerous behaviour. When you’re engaging with electronics or other distractions, you aren’t paying attention to the road, and that means you’re risking the safety of innocent people.”

Throughout February, RCMP and Community Peace Officers conducted numerous campaigns targeting distracted drivers in the downtown and throughout the city. More tickets were issued by police officers and CPOs on patrol in marked and unmarked vehicles.

Police say one woman on her cell phone drove for blocks before finally seeing the flashing lights and hearing the warning sirens of the marked police car that was following her. Another young driver on her cell phone at a red light failed to notice the siren, lights and gestures of the police officer who was stopped beside her.

Distracted driving contributes to 20 to 30% of collisions in Alberta. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, a driver is eight times more likely to get into a collision when texting, and four times more likely to be in a collision when talking on their phone, even if they’re using a hands free device. Red Deer RCMP will continue to target distracted drivers year-round.

If you wish to report a dangerous driver, call the RCMP complaint line at 403-343-5575 and be prepared to provide police with the license plate of the vehicle, description of the vehicle and driver,and a written statement from the witness and willingness to attend court if necessary.

(Red Deer RCMP) 

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