LETHBRIDGE - Alberta's transportation minister says the province is looking at tougher
penalties for distracted drivers.
Ric McIver says after passing the legislation two years ago, too many people
are still breaking the law.
Regional Police Chief Tom McKenzie feels one option is to add demerit points.
He says "behaviours change quickly when demerits come along because they impact
insurance and they impact other things. Raising or increasing the fines,
sometimes that's beneficial, at times it's not, depending on your socioeconomic
McKenzie also feels there needs to be a focus on education, saying "much the same
as seat belts, it took a long time to get people to buy in and some still don't.
Impaired driving is just a no-brainer and people have bought in. Distracted
driving is the same thing and we just need to focus on it for some time,
continue to educate the public around the problems and the tragedies that come
with it, the loss of life that we've already seen that is attributed to it."
The current penalty for distracted driving is $172. So far this year,
Regional Police have issued 1,388 distracted driving tickets.