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Police remind motorists to “Practise Safe Text” on Valentine’s Day

For Immediate Release:14-Feb-2018 @ 6:07 AM
MRU #:18R017

This Valentine’s Day the Edmonton Police Service is reminding motorists to keep their eyes on the road and “Practise Safe Text.”

February 12-16, 2018 marks distracted driving enforcement week where officers across the city will focus their efforts on inattentive drivers.

 

“The number of tickets we issue only represents a fraction of the people we see,” says Const. Trevor Henderson with the EPS West Division Traffic team. “Despite the danger of taking your eyes off the road, drivers continue to use their devices behind the wheel.”

 

According to Alberta Transportation, distracted drivers are three times more likely to be in a crash than attentive drivers. The most common distracted activity seen by EPS officers is texting, though violations have been issued for a variety of distracting activities, including personal grooming and reading printed materials.

 

“The majority of drivers we see during enforcement are caught by surprise and many don’t believe they’re breaking the law,” says Henderson. “The law doesn’t only restrict manipulating a cell phone or device while driving, such as texting or talking, it also restricts holding or viewing it.”

 

Since 2015, the EPS has issued more than 21,000 distracted driving violations.

 

Distracted Driving Violations issued by the EPS
2015 - 2017

Year

Tickets

2015

5 935

2016

8 065

2017

7 403

 

 

While the number of tickets issued decreased slightly in 2017 distracted driving remains an ongoing issue in Edmonton.

 

The EPS reminds all drivers to put away their devices and has several tips to help motorists "practise safe text” and stop their distracted driving habits:

 

  • Set your phone and other electronic devices to silent, do not disturb or off before entering your vehicle.

  • Install a mobile application that blocks phone calls and messages and/or locks your mobile device while driving. Set these apps before entering your vehicle.

  • Keep your phone out of reach while driving. For example, place it in your trunk, backseat or glove compartment.

  • Tell your passengers and other drivers that phones are not permitted in your vehicle and encourage them to do the same in their vehicles.

“Keep your device out of reach and your eyes on the road,” affirms Henderson. “A phone call, text or social media post is not worth risking your safety and the safety of those around you.”

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Please contact Carolin Maran at (780) 421-3544 for more information.

"Dedicated to Protect, Proud to Serve"