Car Insurance in Calgary: Knowing Alberta’s Distracted Driving Laws

Distracted DrivingBow Valley Insurance represents several leading providers of car insurance in Calgary. Working with a broker ensures you receive the coverage you need as an owner of an automobile, homeowner, or business owner. There are many ways to keep the premiums for all of your insurance in Calgary low, including combining your home and auto policies, remaining claims-free, and maintaining a clean driving record.

At Bow Valley Insurance, we encourage everyone to stay safe and obey Alberta’s distracted driving laws. To keep everyone on the road protected, distracted driving laws have been implemented to prevent drivers from allowing their electronic devices to interfere with their ability to drive safely.

Tickets for Distracted Driving in Alberta in 2013

Alberta Transportation seeks to raise awareness of the dangers caused by distracted drivers. In 2013 more than 27, 000 tickets were handed-out to those disobeying the law. The fine for disobeying Alberta’s Distracted Driving Laws is $172.

Car Insurance Calgary: What are the Distracted Driving Laws in Alberta?

Alberta drivers cannot hold, view or manipulate any communication devices that can send or receive calls or any type of electronic data including emails and text messages. However, drivers can use cell phones and/or PDAs in hands-free mode.

Hands-free mode means:

  • Devices cannot be held in drivers’ hands
  • Devices must be activated by a single touch or by voice

What About Hand-Held Radio Communications Devices?

There are specific provisions for employees who drive escort, pilot or trail vehicles that utilize the radio communications devices for purposes set out in the distracted driving regulations. These drivers may only utilize a hand-held radio communications device if they:

  • Use radio communications devices to contact their employer (if the employee is required to maintain contact with their employer)
  • Use radio communications devices for the purpose of conducting search and rescue or other emergency management operations 

As defined in the Traffic Safety Act, the radio communications devices include CB radios and Mike technologies, and apply to all roadways in both urban and rural areas of Alberta.

What Other Devices are Covered Under Alberta’s Distracted Driving Laws?

Effective September 1, 2011, Distracted Driving Legislation restricts drivers from using any of the following:

  • Laptop computers
  • Video games
  • Cameras
  • Video entertainment devices
  • Video displays (Drivers may not allow a video display screen to be activated within their view unless the screen is a GPS device used for navigation)

*Displays are allowed in vehicles for collision avoidance system devices when used for providing collision avoidance information.

The law also prohibits doing the following while driving:

  • Programming portable audio players (for example, CD or MP3 players)
  • Entering information on, or programming a GPS unit
  • Reading any print materials
  • Writing, printing or sketching
  • Personal hygiene/Grooming

As defined in the Traffic Safety Act, the law includes those riding a bicycle and applies to all roadways in urban and rural areas.

Logistical Transportation Tracking Systems and Dispatch Systems

Only the display screens of logistical transportation tracking systems and dispatch systems are allowed inside a vehicle; and only if the user requires their use for commercial purposes such as:

  • Transportation of passengers
  • Tracking of vehicle locations, driver status, or delivery of packages or goods

Drivers are prohibited from holding, viewing or manipulating these types of devices while driving, and these types of devices must be programmed before the user drives.

Car Insurance Calgary: Bow Valley Insurance

Whether you are an individual driver, homeowner or business owner, working with a broker who represents you, not an insurance company, is the best way to keep your overall insurance costs as low as possible.

At Bow Valley Insurance our promise is to find you the most auto insurance rates we can. Request a quote for car insurance in Calgary to compare coverages. Discover 8 Ways to Save Money on Auto Insurance and contact us if you have any questions!