Distracted Driving in Edmonton Spikes as Police Issue 5,500+ Tickets

Distracted driving

Edmonton drivers are apparently too busy writing text messages or carrying phone calls than looking at the road, according to a report from Canada Journal.

The article cites chief Rod Knecht, who is so confident that he will write four tickets every morning on his way to work so he can hand them out to the distracted drivers he spots.

“At a busy intersection in the morning I’ll tell you I can write probably four tickets on my way in to work,” Knecht said. “Where writing a lot more tickets,” Knecht told the Edmonton Police Commission Thursday of the more than 5,500 that have been handed out. “Enforcement’s up, we’re doing more of it. But we’re not seeing a dip in people breaking the law.”

The recent changes in legislation to add demerit points still isn’t enough to convince drivers to put away their cell phones, he suggested, speaking in front of the Edmonton Police Commission.

” We know since the new legislation came in we’re at 275 that have actually gotten three demerit points. So if you get a couple of those, now your drivers licence is in jeopardy and I think that’s when people will start to take notice.”

Councillor Michael Oshry would like to see even stiffer penalties, but that’s something the province has to decide upon, not the city. He sees distracted driving as a “significant safety issue and more likely than speeding”.

On the other hand, distracted driving tickets have seen a 13% decline year-over-year in Calgary, according to a recent report from CBC News. There the latest legislation imposes a $287 fine with a possible gain of three demerit points.