Selective Traffic Enforcement


The Selected Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP) for the month of February will focus on distracted driving.  Research indicates that driver distraction contributes to 20 to 30 per cent of all collisions and distracted drivers are three times more likely to be involved in a collision than attentive drivers. Distracted driving literally impairs your driving ability.


  • Restricts drivers from:
    • using hand-held cell phones
    • texting or e-mailing
    • using electronic devices like laptop computers, video games, cameras, video entertainment displays and programming portable audio players (e.g., MP3 players)
    • entering information on GPS units
    • reading printed materials in the vehicle
    • writing, printing or sketching, and
    • personal grooming
  • Complements the current driving without due care and attention legislation
  • Applies to all vehicles as defined by the Traffic Safety Act, including bicycles
  • Applies to all roads in both urban and rural areas of the province
  • The fine for this offence increased from $172 to $287 on May 1st, 2015
  • As of January 1st, 2016 The Alberta government has added 3 demerit points to the $287 fine

The most frequently asked question regarding the new law is whether pets are specifically addressed by the law. Here’s the answer! In situations where the driver becomes too involved with their pet, police could reasonably argue that the distraction is comparable to the specifically banned activities of reading, writing and grooming and lay a charge.

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. We encourage the continued use of these existing provisions.

If a driver violates a new distracted driving provision and an existing provision in the Traffic Safety Act it would be up to the discretion of the officer as to if one or both charges would apply.



The Selected Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP) for the month of January will focus on intersection safety. In Canada 30% of fatalities and 40% of serious injuries from collisions involved an intersection. Three(3) of the top five(5) improper driver actions that cause collisions occur at intersections, and those actions are:

  • Making a left turn across the path of another vehicle is the most frequently identified improper driver action that contributes to collisions in an intersection.
  • Stop sign violations and
  • Disobeying a traffic signal.

Drivers should take the following three precautions when approaching and crossing an intersection:

  • Scan the intersection and beyond, as you approach with caution.
  • Always be 100% prepared to yield. Keep your foot off the accelerator and covering the brake pad.
  • Before proceeding, check for cross-traffic. Look left, right, left again and continue to scan as you proceed.
  • Watch for both vehicle and pedestrian traffic.
  • Before proceeding, make eye contact with other intersection users – including pedestrians.

Failure to stop at a stop sign or red light results in a $388 fine and 3 demerits. A driver is required to come to a complete stop, which means the wheels of the vehicle must not be moving, before proceeding safely through the intersection.

A sidewalk acts as a stop sign. Before entering a main street from a road, service road, alley, driveway or parking lot a vehicle must stop unless marked otherwise.

When vehicles arrive at a four way stop sign, courtesy is to allow the vehicle that arrived first to proceed first. If vehicles arrive simultaneously, right of way is given to the vehicle on the right, while left turning vehicles yield to approaching traffic.

Failing to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk carries a fine of $776 plus 4 demerit points.

If an emergency vehicle with its lights or sirens activated is approaching an intersection all other vehicles must give up the right of way until the emergency vehicle has passed through the intersection. Failure to do so is a $233 fine plus 3 demerits.