Number of Distracted Driving Tickets in Calgary Jump Despite Increase in Fines

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According to a new report from the CBC, the number of distracted driving tickets issued by Calgary police is on the rise despite the increase in fines. Staff Sgt. Paul Stacey said:

“We haven’t seen it make a huge difference other than people’s reaction when they actually get the ticket. I’m seeing it a lot and, frankly, I see more of it, it seems, when I’m not in my police car.”

In May, the fine for using a handheld device while operating a motor vehicle jumped from $172 to $278. Stacey says that the police traffic force is on track to hand out 1,000 more distracted driving tickets than last year.

Police enforcement in Calgary have issued approximately 29,000 tickets since the distracted driving law was introduced in Alberta in 2011. Here is a list of the most common excuses Stacey hears when pulling over a person for distracted driving:

– “I didn’t know I couldn’t text while I was at a red light.”

– “Someone called me. I didn’t call them.”

– “I was just making a quick call.”

– “I was checking my phone to verify an address.”

The previous Conservative government increased the penalty for distracted driving with the fine increase and by penalizing distracted drivers three demerit points. However, the latter is still not in affect due to the change in government.

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  • andrez1

    People shouldn’t do this – but I do have one beef in Ontario…. The fines are now $490. But the fine for plowing through a red light is only $325. And the cops are going nuts to fine anyone who so much as touches their phones.

    Personally, I would like to see them put the same effort into nailing red-light runners.

    If I had to pick which drivers I want on the road, I want the slow ones touching their phones. The ones plowing through red lights are more likely to hurt me.

  • 1His_Nibs1

    Sorry to say but I see so many young woman on their phones in their cars it’s not funny. I think fines should be even higher throughout Canada because with the current younger generation & future generations it’s only going to get worse. Younger people have their noses buried in their smartphone screens all the time these days. So much so that they’re not even paying attention to their surroundings even while walking making them nice little targets for all kinds of dirtbags.

  • Paul Miskinis

    I fail to see a problem with checking your phone while waiting at a red light. Can someone enlighten me?
    $490 in Ontario is absolutely absurd.

  • 1His_Nibs1

    Your attitude is exactly why $ 490 isn’t enough. You’re driving you shouldn’t be looking at your phone period! Pull over & look at your phone if you must.

  • Paul Miskinis

    Your argument of “because I think so!” doesn’t persuade me.

  • 1His_Nibs1

    Well perhaps when you get a distracted driving ticket perhaps that will persuade you.

  • xxxJDxxx

    You still haven’t proven how this is an actually safety issue. “because you’ll get a ticket” is not a legitimate reason when the question is why the ticket is being issued in the first place…

  • xxxJDxxx

    If someone gets in an accident because they were driving distracted then they absolutely deserve a ticket, but if no crime has been committed and no one has been hurt there is no reason to issue a ticket. This “pre-crime” system is unjust.

  • 1His_Nibs1

    I don’t need to “prove” anything. It’s against the law. I didn’t create or make the law. If you & Paul have an issue with it then deal with your issue as you see fit but it’s not MY problem. End of discussion.

  • 1His_Nibs1

    As the law currently stands (no matter how you choose to interpret it) paying attention to your cell phone while driving (that means in your car on public roadways) is considered distracted driving whether you cause an accident or not. It has nothing to do with the “causing an accident or if someone gets hurt.” If someone conspires to commit murder but no murder is committed then by your logic the person who conspired is not guilty. Can you see the flaw in your argument?

  • xxxJDxxx

    Well the difference here is intent. Someone “conspiring to commit murder” would have to have proven intent to do so. Someone checking their phone is not intending to hurt anyone. See the difference?

  • xxxJDxxx

    No one said it was your problem. Nor are we arguing how the law is written, the point is that in my opinion the law should be changed because, as i stated, I fail to see how this causes anyone harm.

  • 1His_Nibs1

    No I don’t see the difference. Someone checking their phone has every potential of hurting someone because you’re “distracted”. If you don’t like the law then contact your MLA or MP.

  • 1His_Nibs1

    It’s called potential & seeing how people drive when they have their phones (when I pull up beside them & see them with phone in hand or up to their ear) I’m glad this law is in place. There are enough idiots already on the roads. Giving them a phone compounds the problem because I’ve witnessed it time & time again.