August Selected Traffic Enforcement Program and Bylaw Enforcement Education Program Initiatives

For the month of August, City Enforcement Services reminds all drivers through the Selected Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP) to be alert and avoid distractions while on the road. This advice is especially significant for young individuals learning to drive.

According to Office of Traffic Safety in Alberta Transportation:
• One in five new drivers is involved in a collision during their first two years of driving.
• From 2012 to 2016, 233 young drivers and motorcyclists (aged 14 - 24) were killed and 12,515 were injured in collisions. In addition, over one-third of young drivers killed in a collision were not wearing their seatbelt.
• In 2016, young drivers represented 13.5 per cent of the province’s registered drivers, yet they comprised 20 per cent of the drivers involved in casualty collisions.
• Young drivers are more likely to commit a driver error than other drivers. The most common errors include following too closely, running off the road, and making a left turn across the path of an oncoming vehicle.

Since January 1, 2016, the penalty in Alberta for distracted driving is a $287 fine and three demerit points. Section 155 of the Traffic Safety Act provides information on the laws surrounding distracted driving and applies to all roads in Alberta. Under this law drivers are restricted 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, applying makeup, curling hair, clipping nails or shaving)


Residential / Unlawful Parking

Throughout the month of August, officers from the City of Grande Prairie Enforcement Services will be place a focus on unlawful parking in a residential area. The fine for most parking offences is $68.
Some of the common parking offences that are observed in Grande Prairie include:
 Parking within 5 metres of a crosswalk or intersection,
 Parking in an area signed as no parking or no stopping,
 Parking in a disabled space, and
 Parking on the wrong side of the street (on a two way street)

Enforcement Services has found that many motorists misunderstand the difference between No Parking and No Stopping zones.

In a No Parking zone, a motorist is allowed to stop in order for passengers to enter or leave a vehicle. In this case the vehicle cannot be abandoned by the driver, even for a short time period.

In a No Stopping Zone a vehicle is not allowed to stop at all. If an officer witnesses a vehicle stop for passengers a citation will be issued. The downtown core is an example of an area with a lot of No Stopping zones, most of which are reserved for transit bus traffic.