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According to CBC News, the RCMP now has a longer lens that can track a distracted driver from 1.2 km away. Over the Victoria Day long weekend officers were using these high quality lenses to catch distracted drivers across the country in addition to the traditional R.I.D.E. programs to catch drivers under the influence.

As distracted driving continues to be a top cause of accidents in Alberta, it is important to drive carefully and obtain comprehensive insurance coverage to protect you and your vehicle. An experienced auto insurance broker in Alberta at MBS Insurance Brokers Ltd. can help you get started with the coverage you need at a competitive rate.

What is Distracted Driving?

As a top cause of motor vehicle accidents in Alberta, distracted driving is more than just texting while driving. Even eating or drinking while operating a vehicle can be a form of distracted driving. Other forms of distracted driving can include operating other equipment in the vehicle such as the radio or GPS.

Under the Alberta Traffic Safety Act, distracted driving includes the following activities while driving:

  • 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
  • entering information on GPS units
  • reading printed materials in the vehicle
  • writing, printing or sketching; and
  • personal grooming (brushing and flossing teeth, putting on makeup, curling hair, clipping nails or shaving)

What are the Penalties for Distracted Driving in Alberta?

As of January 1, 2016, the penalty for distracted driving in Alberta is a $287 fine and three demerit points. Any charges or convictions for infractions before January 1, 2016 will result in a $287 fine but no demerit points (regardless of whether the ticket is paid before or after January 1).

Tickets for distracted driving are issued to the driver of the vehicle and not the registered owner. Should a driver receive too many demerit points, their driver’s licence would be suspended – meaning 8 demerit points for someone in the GDL program and 15 for a fully licenced driver.

Drivers engaged in any of the identified activities listed above can be charged, even if their driving performance doesn’t appear to be affected. If a driver commits a moving violation while distracted, they would receive two tickets – one for distracted driving and one for the moving violation.

If you receive a ticket for distracted driving you can anticipate that your insurance costs will increase. One ticket can lead to the end of the clean driving record discount, which may amount to 5-10% off of your insurance premiums. As noted above, you may receive two tickets, which can lead to premium increases of up to $500 per year depending on your package.

Tips to Avoid Distracted Driving

The best tips to avoid distracted driving require careful planning. To avoid being distracted by a GPS device, you should plan your route in advance. If there are any changes to your route, use a voice activated system or pull over to the side of the road to use the GPS to change your destination.

Similarly for a cellphone, set up your car with voice activated dialing and a Bluetooth headset to use your phone hands free. Assign a “designated texter” who can send and receive texts on your behalf while driving. If you need to contact emergency services while driving, there is no penalty for calling 911 while driving, though if you can safely pull over before calling you should consider doing so if safe.

Be careful with any food or drink in the car and make sure your passengers know not to distract the driver while the vehicle is in motion. Set the car radio in advance and avoid changing it while in traffic.

Contact Our Team for Auto Insurance in Edmonton, Alberta

In order to obtain the best insurance rates, you should work with the experienced team at MBS. As a trusted auto insurance broker in Edmonton, we can help you find discounts for your clean driving record or help you obtain the coverage you need if you are dealing with previous accidents or tickets for distracted driving. Contact us today at 780-436-7880 to get your free auto insurance quote in Edmonton and surrounding area.

How an Insurance Broker Saves You Time and Money

Do you know the benefits of an insurance broker?

Suppose you’re looking for the best insurance coverage at the best rates in Edmonton. In that case, you’ll first want to understand the benefits of an insurance broker and how they can help protect you in all sorts of different situations – whether it be saving you money, time or giving you simple peace of mind.

What Are the Benefits of an Insurance Broker?

Here are some of the many benefits of an insurance broker.

 

1. Saves Time

An insurance broker does all the work for you, so you don’t have to spend your valuable time shopping around for insurance. Instead, you simply provide your broker with information about your needs, and they shop the markets on your behalf.

 

2. Saves Money

Insurance brokers work with many different partners to find the best deals on the insurance that works for you. They take all your needs into account and make recommendations that are in your best interest. They have relationships with many insurance partners and can negotiate competitive rates and discounts, saving you money in the long run.

3. Expert Knowledge and Advice

An insurance broker provides you with the support and expertise you need to find coverage that suits your needs. They work with various products and services to find the coverage that best suits you. In addition, they can draw from an extensive knowledge base and experience to advise you on the best options. 

Insurance Brokers provide expert and unbiased advice. A wealth of knowledge about coverage and market rates combined with expert risk assessment ensures your possessions and business are adequately protected. Whether you are looking into auto insurance rates, tenant insurance, or home insurance rates, your insurance broker can help you every step of the way.

You can utilize their expertise to quickly identify your options and rely on their unbiased advice to help you make the best-informed decision for your situation.

 

4. Working For Your Best Interests

Since insurance brokers do not work with one particular company, they have nothing to gain from recommending a specific product. The insurance company also pays them a standard commission. Thus, there is no financial incentive to choose one insurer over another.

Insurance brokers have your best interests in mind. You can count on them to find you the best rate possible, which can give you the peace of mind you need. You can rest assured knowing that if you ever need to file a claim, one of our brokers will be there by your side to guide you every step of the way. They act as an advisor on insurance-related matters. They will shop the market for the best coverage and rates for you. Since fulfilling your needs is their only priority, they will provide independent, unbiased advice on the right coverage for your situation.

5. Privileged access and rates

Insurance Brokers have access to a wide selection of the best insurance companies in the country. These insurance companies are only accessible by Insurance Brokers. They do not deal with the public directly or with Direct Writers. Brokers enjoy long-standing relationships with these insurance companies. Still, they do not have an affiliation with any specific insurer, enabling brokers to provide you with a broader range of options at competitive rates.

 

6. Transparency

Insurance brokers must give full disclosure about their compensation and its effect on your insurance premium.  They are also required to declare any financial links with specific companies that may be a conflict of interest, enabling you to make the best-informed decision.

 

7. Risk and Advocacy Experience

Extensive experience dealing with different clients and claim situations equips insurance brokers with a broader perspective on how to reduce your risk. Also, in the event of a claim, you can count on your broker to act as your advocate with the insurance company and handle your claim fairly and promptly.

Speak to MBS Insurance in Edmonton about your Coverage

Reach out to MBS Insurance today to determine your home, auto, and commercial coverage options. Over the past 45 years, our experienced team of insurance brokers in Edmonton has earned the trust and loyalty of our clients by delivering superior products and services. We understand your needs and provide you with the best protection and rates.

There are many benefits of an insurance broker. We can help you understand the intricacies of your insurance plan while saving you money at the same time. We are a trusted insurance provider in Edmonton and provide personal and commercial insurance policies to people living in Alberta. We offer the best rates on recreational, auto, property, commercial, and group insurance policies. 

Contact us online for a free quote or by phone at 780-436-7880.

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This article was originally published on October 7, 2016, and updated for 2021.