Alberta Distracted Driving

Alberta Distracted driving legislation went into effect in September 2011. All cars must adhere to Alberta’s anti-distracted driving law. The following are prohibited by this rule for drivers to do, even when they are stopped at red lights:

  • Utilizing portable cell phones
  • Emailing or texting
  • Using electronics like laptops, video games, cameras, and MP3 players
  • Putting data into GPS units
  • Reading written stuff while driving
  • Either writing, printing, or drawing
  • Personal hygiene practices such tooth brushing and flossing, cosmetics application, hair curling, nail cutting, and shaving.

Even if it doesn’t seem like you’re having any effect on your driving, you could still be charged with distracted driving. When driving while inattentive, you run the risk of getting two tickets: one for the moving offense and one for driving while inattentive.

If you are doing other things while driving that make it difficult for you to drive safely, police may decide to file charges.

For instance, if your pet is causing you to lose focus while driving, you may be charged with distracted driving. If you allow anything to fill the front seat of your car and it prevents you from accessing the controls and prevents you from seeing clearly in any direction while driving, police may additionally charge you.

It is advised that animals be restrained in suitable pet carriers for their protection as well as the safety of vehicles and other road users.


In Alberta, driving while distracted carries a $300 fine and three demerit points.

Activities that are not prohibited by the law against distracted driving:

  • Use a hands-free cell phone.
  • Wearing earphones
  • Consuming beverages or snacks
  • Smoking
  • Taking with fellow passengers
  • Using a portable radio player while driving as long as it is set up before you start.
  • Use a hand-held cell phone to call 9-1-1 or other emergency services.
  • The use of two-way radios or hand-held radios (sometimes referred to as CB radios) when a driver needs to stay in touch with their employer, such as when escorting huge vehicles or taking part in search, rescue, and emergency management scenarios.
  • allowing the following to be displayed on the screen.
  • A GPS navigation system, provided it is installed on the vehicle and set up before you start driving or is voice-activated.
  • You cannot manually enter information or hold the device while driving.
  • A system that avoids collisionsa gauge, instrument, gadget, or system that offers details about the position or the systems of the vehicle.
  • A passenger transportation dispatch system
  • A logistical transportation monitoring system that keeps tabs on the whereabouts of vehicles, the condition of drivers, or the delivery of cargo for business purposes
  • An ignition interlock device for alcohol


Police service cars, fire trucks, ambulances, and gas disconnectors are examples of emergency vehicles. Only when acting in the course of their employment are emergency vehicle drivers permitted to use handheld communication devices or other electronic devices.

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