Speaking in front of Edmonton’s police commission, chief Rod Knecht was blunt.
“At a busy intersection in the morning I’ll tell you I can write probably four tickets on my way in to work,” Knecht said.
What might convince Rod Knecht is the growing number of distracted drivers that are frustrating others on the road and police. They’re too busy looking at their phones and texting, instead of paying attention behind the wheel at a pace more than ever before. He said he could write four every morning on his way into work.
“Where writing a lot more tickets,” Knecht told the Edmonton Police Commission Thursday of the more than 5,500 that have been handed out. “Enforcement’s up, we’re doing more of it. But we’re not seeing a dip in people breaking the law.”
What has changed since distracted driving first came on the books is, the recent move to add demerit points. It’s still early days Knecht said.
” We know since the new legislation came in we’re at 275 that have actually gotten three demerit points. So if you get a couple of those, now your drivers licence is in jeopardy and I think that’s when people will start to take notice.”
“If you talk to our colleagues in Ontario they’re saying it’s one of the biggest contributors to accidents, to injuries, and to deaths.”
Coun. Michael Oshry said he’d like to see stiffer penalties, but knows that’s up to the province not the city. “It’s a really significant safety issue and more so likely than speeding, and more so likely than a lot of other things that they do wrong when they’re driving.”
So if you can put the phone down long enough when you’re stopped at the intersection, look around at the other cars around you. One of them might be chief Knecht.