February STEP: Distracted Driving
The Strategic Traffic Enforcement Program for the month of February will focus on Distracted Driving, which continues to be a traffic safety priority for MHPS.
The penalty for distracted driving in Alberta is a $287 fine and three (3) demerit points, and applies to any vehicle in motion or stopped in a driving lane.
Section 115.1 of the Traffic Safety Act restricts drivers
- using hand held cell phones for calls, texting or emailing or any other purpose.
- using electronic devices like laptop computers, video games, cameras, video entertainment displays and programming portable audio player (MP3 players)
- entering information on GPS units
- reading printed materials in the vehicle
- writing, printing or sketching
- and personal grooming
Also, existing legislation - Traffic Safety Act 115(2)(i) - allows police to charge a driver who permits anything, including a pet, to occupy the front seat of the vehicle such that it interferes with the driver's access to the vehicle controls and the safe operation of the vehicle. Further, Traffic Safety Act 115(2)(j) - allows police to charge a driver who permits anything, including a pet, to cause any obstruction to the driver's clear vision in any direction.
For more information, contact:
Sgt. Clarke White
Medicine Hat Police Service
February BEEP- Focus on Snow Clearance
Section 74 of Bylaw 4346, the Public Roads Bylaw requires the owner or occupant of any premises adjoining a sidewalk to clear away any snow, ice, dirt or other obstruction from a sidewalk within twenty-four hours after the time such snow, ice, dirt or other obstruction was deposited or formed on the sidewalk. It is also important to remember that only snow from the public sidewalk may be placed on the roadway. Snow from your driveways, parking lots and other parts of the property must stay on your property.
Extension cords are important in ensuring your car starts in the cold winter morning, but they must be no less than 8 feet above the sidewalk to ensure that they are not a hazard to pedestrians.
Failing to clear the snow properly from the public sidewalk, placing snow on the roadway or for having an extension cord lay across a sidewalk could result in fines from $100 to $10,000. Violators may also be responsible for the cost of removal of any snow or ice that has not been removed properly.
To report bylaw violations please call or complaints line at 403-529-8481. For questions related to the Bylaw Education and Enforcement Program, please contact Heather Trail at 403-529-8436.