The city’s Selected Traffic Enforcement Program for the month of August will focus on new and distracted drivers. Ross Gear, with city Enforcement Services, says distracted drivers continue to be an issue in the community that could use some extra attention.
“Some of the things we are looking for are making sure people are not using their cell phone or some other device when they’re driving,” says Gear.
“If you have to use a cell phone, please pull over, park and do it safely. The reason cell phones and other devices are not supposed to be used is because it’s quite distracting to the driver.”
Gear added he wants to remind drivers, the use of cell phones, as well as other devices while driving has a high cause rate for collisions.
The penalty for being caught driving distracted in Grande Prairie is $300 and three demerit points on the driver’s license.
Gear says though the main focus of the month for STEP is distracted driving, it’s not the only area under the magnifying glass.
“There [are] lots of focuses— it could be speed, it could be red lights, it could be stop signs; these are all things that are important,” he said.
“Our officers will be setting up in intersections, will just observe and watch if people are on their phones. And if people are on their phones, chances are they will be pulled over.”
Under Section 155 of the Traffic Safety Act, drivers are also restricted from activities such as using other electronic devices such as laptops; cameras or video games, entering information on a GPS unit, writing; printing or sketching, or personal grooming.