News release from RCMP and Alberta Traffic Sheriffs Alberta Integrated Traffic Unit (ITU)
February is distracted driving Month in Alberta and traffic units across Alberta have been focussing on distracted driving throughout the month. As a provincial priority, the Alberta Integrated Traffic Unit (ITU) efforts is reinforcing the dangers associated to this serious traffic offence to reduce fatalities and serious injury crashes as a result of distracted driving.
Distracted driving is defined as the diversion of attention from driving as a result of the driver focussing on a non-driving object, activity, event, or person. This diversion reduces awareness, decision – making or performance leading to increased risk of driver error and collisions.
Since the legislation came into effect, on September 1st, 2011, there have been over 60 thousand charges of distracted driving laid by our officers and sheriffs in Alberta. In 2014 alone, there were 23,913 convictions for distracted driving committed on roads patrolled by our officers. In only one day of January 2015, Integrated Traffic Units in Southern Alberta wrote 51 distracted driving tickets and one of them was a person working on a lap top while driving!
Research has shown distracted driving is the lead cause in 20 to 30% of all crashes and that distracted drivers are three times more likely to be involved in a collision than attentive drivers.
A vehicle travelling at 100 km/h moves at about 30 metres in one second, therefore during a three second glance at a cell phone, that vehicle has travelled almost 100 metres (270 feet). The three second glance equates 100 metres at 100 kilometres an hour which is more than enough to get into a serious collision.
People are being killed all across Canada every day by distracted driving – in many communities, it is over taking Impaired Driving as a leading causal factor in vehicle crashes.
“We need your help to make our roads and highways safer”, says Superintendent Eaton, Officer in Charge of RCMP Traffic Services. “Don’t be a half-attentive driver because you or someone else may lose their life!”
“Saying NO to distracted driving is about saving lives”, says Superintendent Stiles, Officer in Charge of Alberta Traffic Sheriffs. “Before you drive, put distracting devices or material out of reach because driving is a full-time job.”
Integrated Traffic Units consist of RCMP Traffic Services members and Sheriff Highway Patrol officers working together in a collaborative effort to deliver effective and efficient traffic safety services to Albertans, with a focus on identified enforcement priorities.