Canadians continue to drive distracted

By Hayley Ferguson
May 1, 2019 - 4:39pm Updated: May 1, 2019 - 7:07pm

 

Medicine Hat, AB - Despite almost all Canadians knowing that using their phone while driving is illegal, a recent survey says that one in four still admit they do.

Constable David Smith with the Medicine Hat Police thinks that number may actually be higher.

“Everyday we’re issuing distracted driving tickets unfortunately. Some people just don’t seem to get it.” Smith said. “People do get conditioned, as soon as they hear that ding or the chime, their first response is to pick up their phone and say ‘who’s that’ and unfortunately that’s all it takes.”

The survey, done by InsuranceHotline.com, reports that 75 per cent of passengers feel unsafe when their driver is using a phone.

Despite those numbers, 41 per cent admit they check their phone while at a red light. Something that Smith says is just as bad.

“That red light is going to turn green at some point.” He continued saying “And with that people may say ‘oh green’ and start going or just look up from their phone and start going and may hit somebody in front of them or enter the intersection at an unsafe time.”

In Medicine Hat, Police have already give out over 260 tickets this year. Smith admitted that it can be hard to enforce with distracted drivers on the look out for marked cars.

“But we get calls from driving complaints and such. And a lot of people don’t realize, but all it takes is for somebody to make an official complainant, provide us with a written statement. And we can actually mail the registered owner of that vehicle a ticket in the mail. Similar to photo radar. So that’s something people should keep in mind as well.”

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