Put that cell phone away, it’s Distracted Driving Awareness Month

February is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and the RCMP are reminding the public that activities like cell phone use can...

February is Distracted Driving Awareness Month.

February is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and the RCMP are reminding the public that activities like cell phone use can cause not just problems, but tragedies.

“Our brains are not capable of fully concentrating on two things simultaneously,” said Cpl. Laurel Scott, RCMP Media Relations Group, from her Leduc office Jan. 26.

“Never mind texting or emailing, simply talking on a cell phone while driving slows reaction time significantly.

“If you’re texting, or engaging in a cell phone conversation while driving that leaves your brain with less cognitive load to focus on your driving.

“Reaction time for braking, while talking on a cell phone, is compromised. Just ten feet of difference in stopping your vehicle can mean the difference between a pedestrian’s life or death.

“Drivers who are texting miss lane changes, vary more in their lane positions, have difficulty maintaining consistent speeds, compromise their following distances and basically put everyone in their vicinity, as well as themselves, at danger.”

An RCMP press release stated that Alberta’s distracted driving law restricts drivers from using hand-held cell phones, texting or e-mailing, using electronic devices like laptop computers, video games, cameras, video entertainment displays, and programming portable audio players (e.g., MP3 players), entering information on GPS units, reading printed materials in the vehicle, writing, printing or sketching and personal grooming.

Cpl. Scott noted distracted driving, which includes using hand held cell phones or texting, carries a monetary fine of $287 along with three demerit points, so motorists can lose their license as a result.

Cpl. Scott said some of the distracted driving problems can be frightening to people nearby. “I have personally watched a driver ahead of me texting while he was traveling at 105 km per hour,” she said.

“He slowly drifted over the fog line onto the shoulder and then drifted back into the driving lane. I am a cyclist who uses the shoulder, thinking I have a safety zone. Watching that scared me.”

She added that when motorists are behind the wheel, there’s one job they should be focused on.

“Keep your eyes on the road, hands on the wheel, put your focus where it should be.”


Just Posted

Chamber hears ‘13 Ways to kill commerce’

U of A’s Heather Thomson dispels small business myths

Amnesty International worried about Alberta’s publicity campaign

Meanwhile, critics of Vladimir Putin being murdered at alarming rate

Wetaskiwin Bantam Warriors thump St. Albert in season opener

Bantam team showing lots of potential in 46-27 win

Testing winter feed

Testing winter feed lets producers know what nutrients are available

Is it time for your mammogram?

Screen Test is coming to Maskwacis on October 15 and 16, and… Continue reading

VIDEO: Liberals make child care pledge, Greens unveil platform on Day 6 of campaign

Green party leader Elizabeth May unveils her party’s platform in Toronto

NDP, Liberals promise more spending, while Tories promise spending cuts

Making life more affordable for Canadians a focus in the 2019 election

Vaping-related illness confirmed in Ontario believed to be first in Canada

Middlesex-London Health Unit had no further details about the case — believed to be the first confirmed in Canada

Canadian stars Virtue, Moir say in video they’re ‘stepping away’ from ice dancing

The pair thank fans for their support in an emotional message

Outspoken Imperial Oil CEO Rich Kruger stepping down later this year

Imperial Oil is about 70 per cent owned by Texas-based Exxon Mobil Corp., since 2013

‘Time to take action:’ Children advocates call for national youth suicide strategy

Council wants Ottawa to make reporting of suicides and attempted suicides mandatory for data collection

Canadian inflation decelerates to 1.9% as gas prices weaken

August was the sixth straight month that price growth was 1.9 per cent or higher

Alberta spends $3M to hire 30 nurse practitioners for remote areas

Province has 600 nurse practitioners, but minister says most work in hospitals or outpatient clinics

Rick Mercer calls out Conservative candidate in B.C. for fake meme

‘Not true. All fake. Please Stop,’ tweeted Rick Mercer in response

Most Read