Enforcement Services Officers focusing on distracted driving and unlawful parking for August

By Brady Ratzlaff
August 9, 2018 - 5:30am Updated: August 9, 2018 - 6:09am

Enforcement Services Officers in Grande Prairie will be focused on distracted young drivers for the month of August as part of the Selected Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP).

Ross Gear with Enforcement Services says cellphone usage is becoming a huge driving hazard these days.

“You get to a stop light and all of a sudden you see all the heads go down and they are looking at something. Years ago, that never happened. The reason why we don’t want people texting at a stop light is because they lose their situational awareness.”

Gear says they are wanting to help younger drivers to develop good driving etiquette and will be focusing on that as well this month.

“Well, hopefully, we can get the word out to young drivers early, so they develop the habit of not using their phone or electronic device while driving. It's very important that they are developing this habit early, so it stays with them for the rest of their lives."

Gear adds they will also be on the lookout for illegal parking this month as part of the Bylaw Enforcement Education Program (BEEP).

“We also go out and do proactive patrols. We try to catch as many vehicles as we can and try to educate the people and get them to move their vehicles.”

He says people seem to be confused between the difference of a no parking zone (drop off and pick up only) and a no stopping zone (no stopping at any time).

There are also a lot of complaints in residential areas on unlawful parking. The most common parking infractions include parking within 5 metres of a crosswalk, intersection, or stop sign.  The fine for most parking offences is roughly $68.

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