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Mar 20

Driver Monitoring: The Next Step Toward Safer Roads

Whether you’re a driver, part of the community or a government authority, we all want the same thing—to make our highways safer. And as vehicles become more connected, we have an opportunity to monitor and improve driver behaviours. Learn about some important monitoring initiatives in Alberta below, written in partnership with RoadWatcher J.

Changing Laws and Tactics

Impaired Driving
Alberta has plans to update the impaired driving provisions. Though the timeline hasn’t been disclosed yet, it’ll place greater emphasis on monitoring impaired drivers and give law enforcement more decision-making power when pulling them over.

Distracted Driving
According to statistics from Alberta Transportation, nearly 88% of distracted driving convictions in Alberta involve using handheld devices. Since the first distracted driving law was enacted in 2012, the penalty has increased. For the last three years, the new fine has been $287 and a loss of three demerit points.

The Rise of In-Car Monitoring

Outside of expanded police monitoring, there’s also a push to improve driver monitoring through technology. The Globe and Mail reports that insurers are offering discounts of around 12% to drivers who allow it.

The monitoring is done by a wireless device that clips into a slot under your steering column. The insurance company would be able to use the data to build a “comprehensive picture of a driver’s activity” and it would be made available to police and law enforcement agencies.

New Mandates for Commercial Vehicles

This type of digital monitoring is also being put forward to increase the safety of Canada’s trucking industry. Transport Canada is following a U.S. initiative and mandating Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) in commercial vehicles as of June 2018, with an implementation period into 2019.

Fleetmatics state that the ELD reduces three of the top five finable offenses: out of date logs, overdriving, and logging errors. Any violations will be clearly signaled beforehand and brought to the attention of the driver and the fleet company.

The Way Forward

These initiatives are designed to ensure that motorists remain safe on the highways and to improve driving behaviour. As technology continues to evolve, drivers will become more aware of personal driving habits and, in-turn, more safety-conscious.