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With combined experience of over 30 years, Ticketz Canada has been the most trusted business by Alberta drivers, who value their drivers’ licences and their clean drivers’ records. Your Licence and Driving Record are among your most valuable assets. Trust the experts to protect you from demerit points, licence suspensions, IRS suspensions, and high fines. Don’t wait, you have a limited time to fight your charges, call today for a free consultation and find out how we can help you get back on the road sooner and for less money.

  • Specializing in:
  • Traffic Ticket Defence – All Charges Defended
  • Immediate Roadside Sanction Suspension (IRS) Appeals
  • Demerit Point Suspensions
  • Commercial Driver Defence
  • Youth and GDL Drivers Licence Matters
  • Notary Public and Commissioner of Oaths Services

A traffic violation can have a significant impact on your life, making it difficult to drive and putting your licence at risk. If you have been issued a Traffic Violation, it is important to understand how they work and how to fight them. At Ticketz Canada, we are experts in any Traffic Violation and can help you avoid a licence suspension. We will review your case and advise you on the best course of action, whether it is fighting the ticket or trying to negotiate a lesser sentence. We have a proven track record of success, and we will do everything we can to help you keep your licence. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you fight Demerit Points.

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Distracted driving on Calgary's roads: What you need to know

Using a cell phone or smartphone while driving is commonly associated with distracted driving. That being said, it should not be shocking to discover that the phrase "distracted driving" encompasses a broad range of activities that are inappropriate for a driver to perform while operating a motor vehicle. Among these are the following:

  • • Making use of electronics including cameras, video games, and laptop computers
  • • Setting up portable MP3 players and/or video entertainment displays
  • • Perusing printed materials while operating a vehicle
  • • Composing, printing, or drawing
  • • Personal hygiene, including shaving, applying makeup, and brushing your teeth.

We have fought traffic citations in Calgary for many years, and during that time we have witnessed innumerable cases of distracted driving brought before traffic courts. Many of them have involved the blatant infractions of talking or texting while operating a vehicle, but we have also seen several instances where the defendants had good reason to be unaware that they were infringing the law.

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This blog post examines the lesser-known behaviors that fall within Alberta's definition of distracted driving, along with the consequences for being discovered doing so.

Distracted Driving Violations in Calgary's Traffic Court

A time back, we watched as a man defended himself against a charge for distracted driving in traffic court. The rider chose to utilize the "selfie" feature on his phone to examine his teeth for any remnants of his most recent meal while he was waiting at a red light.

The defendant contended that since he was seated near a light that had just turned red, it would stay red for as long as he needed to brush his teeth thoroughly. In addition, he asserted that his attention was constantly on the road and that he was always fully aware of everything around him.

This individual was unaware that laws against distracted driving still apply during red lights and cover things like using a camera to inspect your teeth for crumbs. Furthermore, he didn't realize that the act of taking a selfie is enough to draw his attention away from his surroundings, even if he believed he was completely aware of everything going on around him.

Needless to say, the courts maintained his ticket and demerits without giving any consideration to his defense. And he was given a very serious warning.

The aforementioned list contains additional actions that potentially result in a distracted driving ticket; however, the Traffic Safety Act permits law enforcement to exercise discretion when issuing tickets to drivers who:

  • • Permit any person, animal, or object to occupy the front seat of the car in a way that prevents the driver from having unrestricted access to and usage of the brakes, steering wheel, and other equipment necessary for the vehicle's safe operation.
  • • Allow anything or anyone within the car to hinder the driver's ability to see clearly in any direction.

Stated otherwise, if the police feel that you are being distracted from operating your vehicle safely, they have the authority to issue a ticket for you to drive while carrying a pet, child, fast food meal, etc. in your lap.

Alberta Distracted Driving Legislation VS. Other Provinces

Drivers who are detected using a handheld device while operating a vehicle in Alberta face a regular $287 punishment in addition to three penalty points. However, in comparison to other jurisdictions like Ontario and Manitoba, this is merely a "slap on the wrist" for drivers in Alberta, even though it may seem a bit harsh to some.

First-time distracted driving offenders in Ontario risk a $1000 fine, three demerit points, and a three-day license suspension. Furthermore, the punishment doubles for the same driver if they are caught a second or third time within five years. Fines double and triple, demerit points double, and license suspensions climb to seven days for a second conviction and thirty days for a third.

In Manitoba, driving while inattentive carries a fine of around $700 as well as a three-day license suspension.

Will Alberta's Distracted Driving Laws Get Tougher?

It's important to remember that Alberta may—and most likely will—see its distracted driving regulations strengthened in the future. According to a recent Global News Calgary article, many drivers in Alberta would support stricter regulations on risky and distracted driving[2]. Still, neither Alberta Transportation nor our provincial government have indicated that they are actively seeking to tighten these regulations.

Whether you agree with Alberta's present distracted driving regulations or not, there's a good reason for them to be in place: research has shown that texting increases the risk of being in an automobile accident by 23 times, and chatting on the phone increases the risk by 4-5 times[3]. We can see why distracted driving laws are in place when we consider that distracted driving is a factor in 8 out of every 10 collisions on Canadian roads.

Have you been issued a distracted ticket that requires legal representation? Or do you have any inquiries concerning traffic fines and/or the distracted driving regulations in Alberta? Then get in contact with us and benefit from our many years of experience fighting traffic tickets in Calgary.

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Our Mission is to help protect your insurance rates and driving status by utilizing our knowledge and expertise to speak on your behalf in court.

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  • Marilyn is smart, prompt, skilled, and clearly cares about what she does. She did a great job for me. I couldn't be happier. Ted Greenhough

  • My life was a nightmare after one incident that couldve ended up with lots of legal difficluty and a big fine which I wasnt able to wrap my head around paying as I just moved provinces. Marilyn, what an amazing individual who went above and beyond her duty as my representative by taking the time to listen on my side and ensure me she will do everything she could to get me the best deal. Marilyn listened to me as if I were her family member by making sure I stay possitive and strong, she managed to end this disaster with a very minimal damage of a fine that will no longer affect my life for demerits, suspension or any further challenges. Strongly recommend Marilyn as she is one of the best lawyers I ever had represent me. Ryan Valizadeh

  • Marilyn is AMAZING. Not only did she help me through the situation, but she got me on a better path. She gave me TONS of advice and even showed up on my court date by herself as I was hard at work, and couldn’t make the date. She is an unbelievable person to work with, constantly keeping you informed. Ticketz Canada is the only place I will use and go to for traffic related offences. She is extremely understanding and great to talk to. Thanks Marilyn!! Austin Taillefer

  • Marilyn and the team were able to navigate the traffic court system with all it changes and get a resolution that benefited me with no points and lesser fine. This as a result did not impact my insurance and help me maintained a clean driving record. I would recommend their services for defence in traffic matters. Ron Ruggles

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