Effective January 1, 2016 the penalty for distracted driving in Alberta will be a $287 fine and three demerit points. Any charges or convictions laid before January 1, 2016 will result in a $287 fine but no demerit points (regardless of whether the ticket is paid before or after January 1).
The law applies to all motor vehicles as defined by the Traffic Safety Act. It restricts drivers from:
- using hand-held cell phones
- texting or e-mailing (even when stopped at red lights)
- 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
- personal grooming (brushing and flossing teeth, putting on makeup, curling hair, clipping nails or shaving)
The law applies to all roads in Alberta.