Alberta’s New Distracted Driving Laws

Legislators in Alberta, Canada have introduced tough new Distracted Driving laws that target much more than just cellphone use and texting.

The new law (Bill 16), which is in effect from September 1st, will specifically target use of laptops and other visual display devices, as well as other forms of distraction.

alberta distracted driving lawsThis is similar to Australian road rules, which legislate against visual displays being visible to the driver of a vehicle, other than for a limited range of ‘allowed’ applications such as GPS or dispatch programs. The Alberta laws list a range of distractions that are covered, in addition to laptop use, such as PDA/smartphones and personal grooming. The rules apply to all road vehicles, including motorcycles and bicycles. A brief extract of the relevant section is shown below:

The law bans drivers from holding/using hand-held/portable communication/entertainment devices such as cell phones, laptops or MP3 players while driving.

A driver must not hold, view or manipulate an electronic communication device that can send or receive phone calls, electronic data, electronic mail or text messages

A driver may not permit a video display screen to be activated and within view of that driver unless the screen is:

  • a GPS navigation device being used to obtain navigation information,
  • a cellular telephone being used in hands-free mode,
  • a logistical transportation tracking system device used to track vehicle location, driver status or the delivery of packages or other goods for commercial purposes,
  • a dispatch system used for the transportation of passengers,
  • a collision avoidance system device when used to provide collision avoidance information, or
  • an instrument, gauge, device or system that is used to provide information to the individual regarding the status of various systems and position of the vehicle.

For full details see the Alberta Transportation site:  http://www.transportation.alberta.ca/distracteddriving.htm



Blank-IT has been designed specifically to address the problem of driver distraction and in-vehicle computers and laptops. It is easily installed, doesn’t rely on 3rd party input such as GPS, is fully customisable for different working environments, provides access to ‘allowed’ programs if required and will help your business conform with distracted driving legislation and OH&S requirements.

Find out more today at Blank-IT – or contact us on 08 9486 7122 (if calling from outside Australia: +61 8 9486 7122).

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