Years after distracted driving legislation went into effect in Alberta; it appears motorists haven’t got the message – as officials say there are more people dying on Canadian roads due to distracted driving, than impaired driving.

The Insurance Bureau of Canada said 80 percent of collisions are the result of driver inattention, and sometimes, the results can be deadly.

“We lose more people in our country right now to collisions as a result of distracted driving than drinking and driving,” Bill Adams, VP of the Western Region for the Insurance Bureau of Canada said.

“Many more people are dying because of their cell phones, and that makes no sense.”

Edmonton Police Service Chief Rod Knecht said police handed out hundreds of tickets in the first three months of the year.

“It’s so overt, it’s so open, it’s so blatant, that it is so easy to write a ticket,” Knecht said.

EPS said nearly 2,500 tickets were handed out in the first quarter of 2017, that’s a 60 percent increase compared to 2016.

Chief Knecth hopes the cost of a ticket, and demerit points, will prompt drivers to change their habits.

“I think it’s going to take time because you’re going to have to write somebody a couple of tickets, where their licence is in jeopardy, and they’re going to say ‘Maybe I’m going to change behaviour’,” Knecht said.

With files from Angela Jung