Edmonton Police Chief Says Distracted Driving Efforts are Failing

Distracted driving

Despite stricter rules, Edmonton drivers are still texting while driving, according to Edmonton’s police chief, speaking with CBC News. The new rules that add demerits to distracted driving tickets came into effect in January, but there hasn’t been any decrease since then.

The main problem is that the police cannot spot all of the distracted drivers. “We probably see one percent of one percent that we give a ticket to,” Edmonton’s police chief said to CBC News. And the police have no idea how to address distracted driving, which can have serious consequences.

“We’ve almost exhausted it from a policing perspective,” Knecht said. “I really do think the conversation is with the public, with the community, in saying look, I’m being endangered by this.”

In Ontario, distracted driving is creating more accidents and deaths than impaired driving, according to the Edmonton police chief.

He is seeking the help of technology to be able to reduce distracted driving: He envisions a device that will shut down the phone while the car in on the move unless it detects a Bluetooth connection.

Edmonton police have written 5,585 tickets for distracted driving as of the end of September, compared to the 4,455 for the same period a year prior. That’s an increase of just over 25%, according to CBC News.