Mounties, sheriffs foil distracted drivers

Integrated Traffic Units from Innisfail, Red Deer, Ponoka and Wetaskiwin took part in a distracted driver operation Feb. 25 on Highway 2 as part of their February Selected Traffic Enforcement Plan.

A number of covert police vehicles with RCMP members or Alberta Sheriffs dressed in civilian attire monitored traffic on Highway 2 between Innisfail and Wetaskiwin, explained Const. Brian Johannson. The covert members were looking for drivers who were committing a variety of offences. These members were assisted by fully marked police vehicles to intercept these high risk drivers.

Twenty-two tickets were issued for various Provincial Traffic Safety Act violations. Some examples of the tickets issued are:

• Three tickets for careless driving were issued to drivers who were observed with their heads down texting. These drivers were also speeding, and swerving in and between their lanes. The fine for careless driving is $402.

• Four tickets for “allowing items/ animals/ things to interfere with the safe operation of a motor vehicle” were also issued. An example of this offence was a situation where a driver was talking on the phone while drinking a bottle of water and travelling at 150km/h. This vehicle had a child in the back seat and that child also told the police what mom was doing while driving. The fine for this offence is $172.

• Fifteen tickets were issued to drivers for failing to wear seat belts, speeding (a number of speeds of over 140 km/h); following too close, and vehicle equipment violations.

Johannson reminds motorists that driving a motor vehicle requires full attention.