What Is Considered Distracted Driving in Alberta?
Distracted driving rules vary from province to province and it’s important to know what counts as distracted driving and how it can impact you.
A distracted driving ticket can include a $300 fine, three demerit points and can also be combined with other violations such as careless driving or speeding.
It can also have an impact on your insurance premiums and coverage. A lot of insurance companies now view a distracted driving ticket as a risk and having this violation on your driving record can mean that your annual premiums will go up by hundreds of dollars and leave you ineligible for a payment plan. Many companies will also refuse to allow collision and/or comprehensive protection for your vehicle which can leave you underinsured.
What is Consider Distracted Driving in Alberta
According to the Government of Alberta, the following actions are considered distractions – even when stopped at a red light:
- Using hand-held cell phones
- Texting or e-mailing
- Using electronic devices like laptop computers, video games, cameras, video entertainment displays and programming portable audio players such as MP3 players
- Entering information on GPS units
- Reading printed materials in the vehicle
- Writing, printing or sketching
- Personal grooming (brushing and flossing teeth, putting on makeup, curling hair, clipping nails or shaving)
What Is Not Considered Distracted Driving in Alberta?
There are a number of actions that are NOT considered a distraction:
- Using a cell phone in hands-free mode
- Drinking and eating a snack
- Talking with passengers in the vehicle
- Listening to a portable audio player
- Calling 911 using a hand-held phone
- Using a CB radio to communicate with an employer
- Using a GPS that is affixed to the vehicle
If you have received a distracted driving ticket, it’s important to work with an experienced auto insurance broker. They’ll help you choose the right protection, limits, loss settlement and deductible amount.