A ban on texting while driving might seem like a no-brainer, but the proposed Bill 16 would officially put forward a law banning the use of hand-held cellphones, reading or writing, and personal grooming.
“The proposed legislation goes beyond restricting cellphones and texting. It deals more effectively with the larger issue of distracted driving. It’s actually the most comprehensive legislation in Canada,” said Paul Oss, of the public affairs office of Alberta Transportation.
“There’s tremendous interest in the bill and definitely the public is behind it.”
Fines would start at $172 with no demerits, but could go as high as $402 with a potential six demerits under the existing available charge of driving without due care and attention.
Strathcona County was the first municipality in Alberta to install a cellphone ban on drivers in September of last year and continues to see the positive results of the bylaw.
“It’s been successful. The public response has been good,” said Wilf Gillis, enforcement services supervisor with Strathcona County. “With a provincial statute it would probably be a little easier because there’d be more coverage all across the province that way.”