Alberta’s new distracted driving law will come into effect on Sept. 1. It’s the most comprehensive distracted driving legislation in Canada, according to the provincial government.
Under the new law, activities that are not allowed while driving include:
• talking on a hand-held cellphone
• texting or emailing
• using electronic devices such as laptop computers, video games, cameras, video entertainment displays and programming portable audio players
• manually entering information on GPS units
• reading printed material such as a book or a magazine
• writing, printing or sketching
• personal grooming such as combing your hair, applying makeup or brushing your teeth
• using a citizen’s band (CB) or two-way radio (some exemptions apply).
Drivers can still use cellphones or radio communication devices in a hands-free or voice-activated manner. Drivers may use a hand-held CB or two-way radio when escorting oversized vehicles, to contact one's employer or when participating in search, rescue and emergency management situations.
“This legislation gives law enforcement agencies in Alberta an additional tool to help make our roads safer,” said Frank Oberle, solicitor general and minister of public security. “We are sending an extremely strong traffic safety message to motorists across the province: When you’re in your vehicle, your focus must be on driving.”
To help Albertans prepare for the new law — which applies to all vehicles as defined by the Traffic Safety Act — the government will run a public education and awareness campaign in newspapers, on radio and online that will provide information about the distracted driving law and how to comply with it.
More information can be found at www.transportation.alberta.ca/distracteddriving.htm.
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