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Distracted driving contributing to a quarter of collisions

Distracted driving is one of the biggest causes of collisions on the roads today.

Research suggests that distracted drivers are three times more likely to be involved in a collision than drivers who are paying attention to the road. Driving Instructor at Border City Driving Training Ron Courtepatte says that he has seen his fair share of distracted drivers.

“A lot of distracted driving is looking at cell phones, texting. I’ve even seen people reading books and it’s very hard to see the road when you’re trying to look at your phone or a book.”

Since the distracted driving law came into effect in 2011 there has been more than 139,579 convictions in Alberta. Courtepatte says that he would hate to see anyone fall victim to a distracted driver when it can be prevented.

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“I drive a school bus and I hate to see one of my kids get hurt because you’re looking at your phone and not the road and the kids.”

In Alberta the legislation restricts drivers from texting, entering information on a GPS and personal grooming among others. Courtepatte says that the biggest thing when you’re distracted is that you’re not fully aware of where you’re going.

“Reaction time is a lot less when you’re distracted too. On a normal stop you have a reaction time of 1.5 seconds for perception and reaction time.”

The penalty for distracted driving in Alberta is $287 and three demerit points.

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