A city-wide blitz to combat distracted driving saw dozens of tickets issued.

From mid-June until Monday (July 25), Fort Saskatchewan RCMP and the City of Fort Saskatchewan’s Municipal Enforcement Services conducted an initiative focused on distracted driving called “Option IV”.

During the initiative, drivers caught distracted driving were given a fourth option, an education session, that turned their tickets into warnings, meaning they were no longer required to pay the fine and no demerit points were deducted.

When issued a violation ticket, drivers are given three options: pay the fine, plead not guilty in writing by mail, or appear in person before a justice on the court date provided on the ticket. A distracted driving violation in Alberta comes with a $300 fine and three demerit points.

“The Option IV program allows us to use an educational approach rather than enforcement in order to change people’s driving behaviour,” said Corporal Lafreniere, supervisor of the Fort Saskatchewan RCMP Traffic and Crime Reduction Unit (TCRU).

“In 2019, distracted driving deaths surpassed that of impaired driving deaths in Canada, so this initiative was very important. This particular approach is in line with the City’s vision zero philosophy and helps bring us closer to our goal of zero serious or fatal collisions in our city.”

During the initiative, police and municipal enforcement issued 50 violation tickets, with 40 drivers choosing the Option IV education session.