CALGARY (660 NEWS) – There’s been a healthy decrease in the number of distracted driving tickets Calgarians are getting according to Calgary police.
Over the span of a year, the number of distracted driving tickets that officers have been handing out has dropped by 1,455.
Between January to October of 2018 police handed out 5,238 distracted driving tickets. Over the same amount of time in 2019, they issued 3,783 tickets.
A lot of that might boil to how socially acceptable–or unacceptable–things like texting and driving has become.
“I think there’s a lot more emphasis on people saying to the drivers when they’re in the passenger in the car, ‘Hey that’s not safe, please don’t do that,'” said Sgt. Colin Foster with CPS.
Foster adds there’s also been a lot of safety announcements from the police and other organizations continually telling people distracted driving is dangerous. That, and drivers are actually making active choices to avoid picking up the phone behind the wheel, he says.
“In addition to that, obviously there’s a lot more cars now that are set up for hands-free use. I think all that together shows the reduction in the number of tickets we’ve been issuing.”
As far as those people who do get caught, Foster says they all seem so sing a similar song: “it was a quick phone call”, “my relative is in the hospital”, “it was my wife”.
“It’s the usual sort of last-moment situation where their phone has rung, they’ve forgotten where they are and they pick up their cell phone.”
According to Alberta Transportation, the number of convictions has also dropped, going from 4,520 in 2018 to 4,395 in 2019.
If you’re caught using your cell phone, entering information on your GPS, writing things down, or flossing while driving, you can get slapped with a $287 fine and lose three demerit points.
“Please don’t use your cell phone whilst driving. You’re travelling in a missile and a moment’s distraction could lead to a collision. And that moment can become a lot longer.”