Grande Prairie RCMP Municipal Traffic Unit targets distracted driving and occupant restraints

Grande Prairie, Alberta – On Jan.17, 2020 the Grande Prairie Municipal Traffic Unit conducted a traffic operation with a focus on distracted driving and occupant restraints. As a result of this operation, a total of 18 charges were laid.

In previous months, the unit conducted similar operations, each of which resulted in over 20 charges laid. Those operations were conducted on Sept. 13, 2019, Oct. 1, 2019, and Nov.6, 2019.

File Photo
File Photo

Grande Prairie RCMP are hopeful the lower results of the most recent operation are an indication that motorists are driving free of distraction and using proper restraints. Cst. Joel Durling of the Grande Prairie RCMP Traffic Unit advised “During the operation, the majority of motorists observed were exhibiting safe driving behaviours and were driving according to the conditions.”

Current research conducted by the Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF) indicates that distracted driving can be just as dangerous as impaired driving. The largest contributing factors in collisions resulting in injury or fatality continue to be speeding, aggressive driving, distracted driving, and occupants not wearing or improperly wearing their seatbelt.

Motorists are reminded that the current specified penalty for a distracted driving offence is $287.00, in addition to 3 demerit points applied on the date of conviction. Current legislation dictates that 15 or more accumulated demerit points, or 8 for a Novice/GDL driver, within a period of 2 years will trigger a licence suspension.

Between Sep. 1, 2011, when distracted driving legislation was introduced, and March 31, 2018, 97 per cent of distracted driving-related convictions were for using a hand-held electronic device while driving.

Grande Prairie RCMP are asking the public to contribute to safer roads in their community by modelling safe driving behaviours.

Grande Prairie RCMP
Police File: 2020-74444 & 2020-74460

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