Nearest broker: Searching for a broker nearby…
Nearest broker: , Edmonton, AB Phone: 780.755.0110 5020 Lac St Anne Trail N, Onoway, AB, T0E 1V0 Phone: 780.967.2282 , Edmonton, AB Phone: 825.467.5631 206 Pembina Rd, Sherwood Park, AB, T8H 0L8 Phone: 780-732-8616 10060 Jasper Ave, Edmonton, AB, T5J 3R8 Phone: 780-435-3632 , Calgary, AB Phone: 403-532-4882 322 Avenue C S, Saskatoon, SK, S7M 1N4 Phone: 639-398-4170 5317 50 Ave, Taber, AB, T1G 1V3 Phone: 403-223-2377 110a McLeod Ave, Spruce Grove, AB, T7X 2H8 Phone: 780-571-1144 496 Marquis Rd, Prince Albert, SK, S6V 8B3 Phone: 306-970-8080 335 Hwy Avenue N, Picture Butte, AB, T0K 1V0 Phone: 403-732-6023 2201 Box Springs Blvd NW, Medicine Hat, AB, T1C 0C8 Phone: 403-487-5132 550 Wt Hill Blvd S, Lethbridge, AB, T1J 4Z8 Phone: 403-394-1123 734 13 St N, Lethbridge, AB, T1H 2T1 Phone: 403-328-9114 5 St SE, High River, AB Phone: 403-652-4104 9904 103 St, Fort Saskatchewan, AB, T8L 2C9 Phone: 780-998-0881 201-4271 23 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB, T6L 5Z8 Phone: 780-466-2136 3908 97 St NW, Edmonton, AB, T6E 6N2 Phone: 780-465-6900 8170 50 St NW, Edmonton, AB, T6B 1E6 Phone: 780-469-9378 52 Ave, Drayton Valley, AB Phone: 780-621-1707 1331 Macleod Trail SE, Calgary, AB, T2G 0K3 Phone: 403-278-1050 1331 Macleod Trail SE, Calgary, AB, T2G 1E1 Phone: 403-255-2252 234-7 Westwinds Crescent NE, Calgary, AB, T3J 5H2 Phone: 403-775-2100 , Calgary, AB, T3K 0S8 Phone: 403-719-9995 5114 2 St, Boyle, AB, T0A 0M0 Phone: 780-689-3946 50 Ave, Bonnyville, AB Phone: 780-826-3147 12931 20 Ave, , AB, T0K 0E0 Phone: 403-562-2191 2903 Kingsview Blvd SE, Airdrie, AB, T4A 0C4 Phone: 403-945-8885

Distracted Driving in Alberta

Auto Insurance

By Viola Wallace | September 19, 2018

Ask any pedestrian motorcyclist or cyclist what they most fear on the road and the chances are they will say drivers not concentrating on operating their vehicle or on their surroundings. Being distracted behind the wheel puts all road users at risk. An increased focus on road safety combined with the rise of smartphones as hubs for all personal communications has led to some distracting activities being outlawed across the country. The penalties for breaking these laws vary between provinces and range from fines demerit points revoked licenses and criminal convictions.

Distracted Driving in Alberta

In Alberta distracted driving lawsthat came into effect on the first day of 2016 specifically restricts drivers from the following activities:

  • Using hand-held cell phones
  • Using other electronic devices with a screen including MP3 players
  • Texting or e-mailing
  • Entering information into a GPS system
  • Reading printed materials
  • Writing
  • Personal grooming

The restrictions on cell-phone use texting and emailing also apply when your car is stationary at a red light and all of these activities are by themselves enough for you to be penalized if you are observed; it is not a requirement that you do anything dangerous or commit another offence while distracted.

Activities which are not restricted include various exceptions for emergency service personnel and haulage workers and also activities deemed not to be as distracting as those that are explicitly banned. However if the police can prove that you were sufficiently distracted by an activity that is not specifically mentioned in the law you can still be penalized . Allowing anything (such as a pet) into the front seat area of your vehicle that causes a distraction may also result in a penalty.

Drivers caught and penalized for distracted driving in Alberta can expect to receive a fine of $287 and three demerit points (click herefor a comprehensive description of the demerit system). If you commit another violation while distracted it can result in other penalties on top of the one for distracted driving. Other provinces such as British Colombia impose penalties comparable with Alberta.

Distracted driving affects insurance costs

The reason we’re seeing increased government intervention against distracted driving is due to the large numbers of minor and major road traffic accidents that are attributed to such behaviour. It is difficult to measure exactly how many since distraction is difficult to separate from other bad driving habits as the cause of an accident. Distraction itself goes far beyond the actions prohibited by law – who hasn’t seen a dangerous situation caused by a driver looking at the scene of another accident? It’s hard to disagree with the argument that cell phone use and other distractions are a major cause of road traffic accidents however. This in itself is enough to justify increasingly harsh penalties and convictions for distracted drivers.

However there are further arguments to suggest that harsh penalties are a way of shifting some of the cost of bad driving onto the bad drivers themselves. Another way of doing this is for insurance companies to increases premiums for those convicted of driving offences; if you are convicted you can expect your premiums to go up by 2-6% for a minor infraction 6-14% for a major infraction (including distracted driving) and 14-25% for a criminal conviction . This can escalate very quickly if you are convicted multiple times. So if you’re tempted to text while driving don’t. It could cost you financially and even your life.

Get A Quote From A-WIN

Get the best insurance deals and stay on budget.

Get A Quote

Life Events - It's Time to Reassess Your Insurance

Whether it’s heading off to university or deciding to start your own business,...


Rogers Insurance and CapriCMW merge to become Acera Insurance.

A-WIN Insurance is part of the Rogers Insurance Group.

Click to learn more about how this merger will impact A-WIN Insurance. Our branches will remain independently owned and operated.