BANFF – Banff RCMP netted 129 tickets last month in what officials are calling a "pro-active traffic" enforcement month.
“The Banff RCMP are targeting locations with the greatest density of vehicle and pedestrian traffic to reduce the risk of harm as we enter our peak visitation period,” Staff Sgt. Michael Buxton-Carr with the Banff RCMP wrote in a press release.
While averaging a population of 7,847 according to the 2016 federal stats, the Banff National Park gates had more than 4 million visitors between 2017-18 according to Parks Canada attendance numbers with peak visitation in the summer months.
Using various locations including the Banff sign on Mount Norquay Road, the 100 block of Banff Avenue and intersection on Wolf Street, Banff RCMP observed several frequent dangerous driving behaviours such as speeding, stop sign violations and the use of celluar devices.
The provincial distracted drive law applies to all vehicles restricting drivers from using hand-held cellphones, texting or emailing, using electronic devices such as laptops, computers, video games, cameras, video entertainment displays and programing portable audio players, reading printed materials, writing, printing or sketching and personal grooming – even while stopped at red lights. The penalty, as noted on the provincial website, is a $287 fine and three demerit points.
“We are concerned by the number of motorists who drive while using their phones, exceed speed limits or fail to obey stop signs,” Buxton-Carr wrote.
“Road safety is a priority for the Banff RCMP and the public can expect to see pro-active traffic operations within the town site.”