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   Volume 81 - Issue 35 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: news@passherald.ca   $1.00   
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"(The Thunder Challenge) is a chance for kids to see some of the future stars of the WHL, and even the NHL"
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Crowsnest Pass RCMP have announced that they will be cracking down on distracted drivers, impaired drivers and those who speed through school zones during the month of September.
Officers expect to have their hands full, as the new provincial Distracted Driving legislation comes into effect this Thursday, September 1st, followed closely by the Labour Day long weekend – and the impaired driving that comes with it – and students returning to school next week.
Police will be stationed at key locations throughout the community and surrounding rural areas in order to enforce safe driving habits, obeying school zone speed limits, and responsible alcohol use.
“(These practices) can save lives and reduce injury on provincial roadways,” said Crowsnest Pass RCMP Sergeant Scott Howard in a press release.
Last year, Alberta RCMP and Sheriffs issued more than 4,000 tickets over the Labour Day long weekend, including 64 impaired driving tickets, 99 seatbelt infractions, 27 intersection infractions, and 3,317 speeding violations.
“Every day our officers patrol area highways with a focus on driver behavior that poses risk for themselves or other road users,” said Sergeant Howard.
An estimated 90 per cent of all motor vehicle collisions are caused by driver error, of which approximately 20 to 30 per cent are a result of driver distractions.
In order to rectify this problem, the province has created the Distracted Driving legislation, which restricts drivers from taking part in any distracting activity on any and all roadways within the province, both rural and urban.
The law restricts drivers from talking or texting on a hand-held cellular phone, using electronic devices such as laptops, video games, cameras, and portable audio players such as IPods, reading books or magazines, and attending to personal grooming such as combing hair, applying makeup, shaving, flossing, or brushing one’s teeth.
 

Drivers are also restricted from such activities while stopped at a red light or train crossing, and are only allowed to perform these activities when the vehicle is legally parked and off of major roadways.
Those who are found to be in contravention of the new law will be issued a $172 fine with no demerits on their driver’s licence.
The charge for “driving without due care and attention” will remain in effect and can be considered for violations which are made more serious when associated with cell phone use or other distracting behaviours.
The fine for careless driving is a $402 ticket and six demerits.
Drivers are still allowed to eat and drink while operating the vehicle, however this rule is discretionary in order to allow for flexibility for law enforcement.
For example, if the driver is holding a bowl of cereal in one hand and a spoon in the other, the officer could reasonably argue that the activity is comparable to those which are banned, and could then lay a charge.
“I believe that the new Distracted Driving legislation will assist our officers in effectively dealing with distracted driving, which is one of the causal factors to motor vehicle collisions,” said Sergeant Howard.
He encourages motorists to be vigilant at all times concerning their driving, especially now with the coming school year and Labour Day long weekend.
“Attentive driving, making good driving decisions such as obeying school zone speed limits and the safe use of alcohol is everyone’s responsibility,” said Sergeant Howard.
“It is hoped our efforts will lead to alert, safe and sober driving.”
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   Volume 81 - Issue 35 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: news@passherald.ca   $1.00   
 
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