Police warned motorists to keep their focus on the road, but some were still too busy chatting on their cellphones to listen.
Metro first reported that nearly 1,000 Calgarians had each been slapped with a $172 ticket during the first three months of enforcing Alberta’s distracted-driving legislation, which took effect Sept. 1.
At the time, Const. Jim Lebedeff said many members were still giving motorists the benefit of the doubt, but warned at the time that would soon change.
Now, three months later, he points to data indicating a roughly 20 per cent jump in tickets issued as proof his threat wasn’t hollow.
“Some people still aren’t getting the message ‘ it’s crazy,” Lebedeff said. “This is going to cause a major crash one of these days and then people will finally wake up.”
Use of a handheld device accounted for 94 per cent of distracted-driving tickets handed out locally in January and February.
Provincial transportation spokesperson Donnae Schuhltz said Tuesday an observational study conducted in October found just one per cent of Albertans were still using a handheld device behind the wheel.