AUGUST STEP: New Drivers / Distracted DriversThe MHPS will be focusing on Young Drivers throughout the month of August, as part of the province-wide Selected Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP). Vehicle crashes are the number one killer of young people in Alberta. Age, inexperience, distraction and peer pressure are significant factors in vehicle related injuries and death during the teen years. Crash rates for young drivers are the highest when there are teen passengers in the vehicle and when driving at night. One in five new drivers will be involved in a collision in their first year of driving.
Parents play a vital role in teaching their teens to drive. Parents of teen drivers should set a good example behind the wheel, and set specific rules for their teen driver and stick to them. Parents can also enroll their teen driver in driver education, and most importantly, help your teen to practice driving.Did you know? In Alberta, a parent of a driver under 18 years of age must give written consent to allow their teen to get their operator’s license. Parents can revoke that permission at any time, and their teen’s operator’s license will be revoked. Parents maintain that right until their teen reaches the age of 18 years. If a parent or legal guardian wishes to withdraw parental consent, they may be required to submit their request in writing to any Alberta Registry Office. The parental withdrawal MUST be initiated by the same parent/person who signed the original consent form.
In August, the MHPS will also focus on Distracted Drivers, which continues to be a traffic safety priority. Many motorists continue to operate their vehicles while distracted, regardless of the fines and demerits associated with the offence. The risks associated with distracted driving closely resemble those of impairment, and it’s no surprise that governments are taking that next step to try and limit these occurrences.In Alberta, the penalty for distracted driving is a $287 fine and three (3) demerit points. Drivers also need to be aware that the legislation is not specific to only texting or talking on a device, but states it is an offence to “hold, view, or manipulate” a hand-held device.
The Traffic Safety Act restricts drivers from:
- Holding, viewing or manipulating hand held cell phones, whether talking, texting or emailing
- using electronic devices like laptop computers, video games, cameras, video entertainment displays and programming portable audio players (MP3 players)
- entering information on GPS units
- reading printed materials in the vehicle
- writing, printing or sketching
- and personal grooming
A driver can pull over to the side of the road to use their devices, providing they are stopped and legally parked. If a driver is not in a legal parking spot, for instance a drive-thru, a ticket can still be issued. The only time a driver can use their cell phone while driving is to call in an emergency situation to a 9-1-1 Communications Centre.
For more information, contact:
Sgt. Gerald Sadlemyer
Medicine Hat Police Service
August 2020 Bylaw Education & Enforcement Program (B.E.E.P)
The August 2020 Bylaw Education and Enforcement Program (BEEP) will be focusing on the animal care provisions under the Responsible Animal Ownership Bylaw, and cats to be specific.
Everyday your pet shows you unconditional love and affection; return the favour by being a responsible animal owner. To keep your pet happy, healthy and safe, and to demonstrate that you are a responsible pet owner be sure to:
· Keep cats within the confines of your property at all times. The use of a leash or outside cat play area are great ways to allow cats some outside time. Cats do cause some concerns while out and about such as messing in flower beds, spraying and marking territory and of course hunting.
· All cats, even the ones in apartments require a license, just like dogs. A license allows officers to easily identify you pet should they get lost and return it home to you.
· Spay or Neuter your cat. The over population of cats remains a very sad and difficult issue to get a head of. We must remain vigilant in spaying and neutering each and every cat, failure to do so results in starvation, disease, and death.
· Lastly, adopt, don’t shop. Adopting cats that have been vet checked ensures you will have a healthy cat, spaying and neutering cats protects the population , be a part of the solution and not problem.
For more information on being a responsible animal owner, visit the mhps.ca. For information about cats available for adoption visit to www.aparc.ca.
Supt Heather Trail
Municipal Bylaw Enforcement Section
Medicine Hat Police Service