Red Deer RCMP tickets 78 distracted drivers in February

Red Deer RCMP are asking drivers to pay better attention to the road.

Police ticketed 78 people for distracted driving in February as part of their month-long campaign targeting inattentive drivers.

Sgt. Kevin Halwa said the numbers are not surprising, but are extremely disappointing.

“Despite all the research showing that distracted driving significantly increases the risk of a crash, many drivers continue to engage in this dangerous behaviour,” said Halwa.

“When you’re engaging with electronics or other distractions, you aren’t paying attention to the road, and that means you’re risking the safety of innocent people,” he said.

Each ticket costs a driver $287 and three demerits.

Throughout February, RCMP and community peace officers conducted numerous campaigns targeting distracted drivers in the downtown and throughout the city.

Police say one woman on her cell phone drove for blocks before seeing the flashing lights and hearing the warning sirens of the marked police car following her. Another young driver on her cell phone at a red light failed to notice the siren, lights and gestures of the police officer stopped beside her.

According to police, distracted driving contributes to 20 to 30 per cent of collisions in Alberta.

To report a dangerous driver, call the RCMP complaint line at 403-343-5575.

To follow up on a complaint, police need the vehicle’s license plate number, a description of the driver and a written statement from the witness, as well as a willingness to attend court if necessary.

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