So we have a new Distracted Driving law in the province as of Sept 1st. My city also put in a bylaw that people are not allowed to smoke in their vehicle if a child under the age of 16 is present. The fine is $100 for that. I can't remember what the fine is for distracted driving....
But my question is, would it be considered DD if a police officer is straining himself turning his head and lifting himself up higher in his seat in order to try to see into a car passing by to see if a child is in the car seat, because the driver is smoking?
That's what we witnessed the other day. We were out for a few mins and my bf lit a smoke on the way back to the house. All of our kids were at home but we keep the car seat in the back of the car of course. Actually it's a high-back booster seat, but whatever. Anyhow we happened to pass a police officer and he was staring at us as we approached and then while he was driving, he completely turned his head around and was leaning toward his window, lifting himself up higher in his seat and staring right into our car with a determined, almost grumpy, look on his face. I was baffled. At first I thought perhaps he was checking for our seat belts but they are super easy to see in that car.... we ended up staring back at him, most likely with baffled/annoyed looks on our faces. What? Two people can't drive to the corner store at 7pm? But then as I traced his line of vision, I realized he was trying to look into the booster seat behind the passenger seat. My gosh! All I could think was that it would just take a second for a kid to run out in front of him and he would not have had time to react because his head was at a 90 degree angle from the windshield for several seconds.
Then it made me think about our truck. The back has legally tinted windows. We have a high back booster in there as well. I don't think they would be able to see if a child was present or not, even when right up beside us. So if my bf is smoking and a cop sees him, is he going to get pulled over?? Basically, anyone driving around with a car seat is at risk for being pulled over. You can be totally driving legally properly safely the entire trip but still get pulled over by the police because of this new bylaw. Is that right? Should someone on the way to work be made late because a cop wants to see inside a car seat? I swear it makes me want to put a doll in the seat lol. I know that's just stupid but come on! My bf has not had a speeding ticket since he was 23 (he is 42). He has never had a parking ticket, no points off his license, not pulled over due to a problem with his vehicles like a taillight being out, etc. But now he might get pulled over because the police can see a car seat in the back and can't tell if a child is in it or not while he has a smoke in his hand. It's ridiculous. I can see something happening in the future where you are not allowed to smoke in your vehicle at all. My city is the 5th in the province to add this bylaw. The largest city so far. I would imagine the other big cities wont be far behind.
Every day I see children put at risk by people speeding through school zones or not having a clue how to deal with pedestrian crossings. I see people speeding, stunting, passing incorrectly, etc. Drunk drivers are out every day. There are reportedly over 400,000 drivers in alberta who have not taken their final license test and didnt plan to until a 4 year limit may go into effect.
But now the police can pull you over to check a car seat or to give you a ticket or warning for using your cell phone or eating a burger. I dont think people should text/talk and drive. I cant even text and walk!! But a local woman was just pulled over for distracted driving because the officer said she was on her cell phone when she was really chewing on a toothpick!!! He did not give her a ticket but he still gave her a warning!!!! If her story is true that is totally insane. How do you prove it? You have to take the day off work and lose money in order to appear in court and it's your word against the officer's word and that's it. Same with carseats. What if one decided to be an arse and say that a child WAS in the seat?? How do you prove there wasn't, against his word that there was. It's nuts. There are so many traffic violations out there every day that are easy to see, but you never seem to see an officer. Now there are more things added to their list and THEY can drive unsafely and in a distracted manner in order to visually look for kids in car seats with a smoker parent - but you can't. I just found it odd. I was totally weirded out by this cop. I havent had an incident with an officer for over 20 years - and that was for an underage drinking ticket 3 weeks before my 18th birthday lol. So im hardly used to cops staring at me in a grumpy manner or perhaps pullling me over on the road. Fun times ahead!