CALGARY — Calgary’s police chief wants demerit points as well as fines handed out to Albertans caught talking or texting on their cellphone behind the wheel.
Rick Hanson says just having a $172 fine under the province’s distracted driving legislation is not a strong enough message about the dangers of failing to pay attention on the road.
Hanson says motorists paid attention to the law when it took effect just over a year ago, but they’re not heeding it now and it’s time to consider demerits along with the financial penalty.
He plans to raise the issue at a November meeting of the Alberta Association of Police Chiefs in Edmonton.
Provincial Offences Information and Traffic Ticket Service, or POINTS, a company that helps drivers fight tickets, says demerits will increase the workload at court.
Charlie Pester, a company spokesman, says he thinks Alberta should look at other ideas, such as a 24-hour suspension of phone services and education programs.