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.