12/21/2012 04:00 EST | Updated 02/19/2013 05:12 EST

Distracted Drivers Should Face Demerits As Well As Tickets, Alberta Police Chiefs Say


EDMONTON - Alberta's police chiefs are pressing the province to hand out demerits for distracted driving tickets.

Edmonton police Chief Rod Knecht says the association representing the chiefs has approved a resolution that's now on the desk of the Solicitor General.

Knecht says people just don't seem to be paying much attention to the distracted driving laws, and the chiefs think handing out demerits might change that.

He says police forces are getting a lot of complaints about how people are still using their cell phones while driving and the police aren't doing enough about it.

Knecht says he himself noticed that drivers seemed a bit more alert to their surroundings in the first weeks of the legislation.

But now he says he's seen a lot of people are back to texting or calling people on their cell phones.

The chiefs would like to see two demerits attached to each ticket.

"You're looking for the people who are the frequent flyers who are doing it over and over again as opposed to that single individual."

"It's the normal course of doing business. Traffic's heavy, people are bored and they'll reach over and pick up that cell phone or that Blackberry and text."

Knecht expects a response some time early in the new year.


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