The Province of Alberta has enacted a pretty tough distracted driving law, in its Bill 16 of 2010 – Traffic Safety (Distracted Driving) Amendment Act, 2010.  It became effective on Thursday, September 1, 2011 – just in time for the Labor Day holiday, long weekend.

The law is pretty harsh, and it specifically prohibits the transmission of electronic mail, electronic data, and text messages, while operating a vehicle; along with making calls, of course.  This shows that the law “can” sometimes, keep up with the speed of society and Social Media.

There are, however, use exceptions for emergencies and emergency personnel.

Additional restrictions and definitions will come in regulations, but for now, a special target is firmly in place on: reading or viewing printed materials; writing, printing or sketching; and engaging in personal grooming or hygiene.

For now, comments are mixed.

Whether we see a Constitutional challenge for overbreadth under Section 1 (reasonable limits on rights) or Section 14 (equal protection and benefit of the law) under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, remains to be seen.

Let’s wait for those Regulations!

This article does not constitute legal advice or create a Lawyer-Client relationship.

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