EDMONTON, Alberta, Sept. 1 (UPI) -- Alberta became the 10th and final Canadian province Thursday to ban drivers from using hand-held cellphones and texting behind the wheel.
Among the other nine provinces, Alberta's law is seen as more wide-ranging, as it give police officers the discretion to lay charges of distracted driving for other things such as reading or programming a global positioning system device, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. said.
Drivers who appear to be focused on eating, drinking, applying makeup or watching computer devices can also be charged, the law says.
Police officers throughout the province have been told to use their discretion and not lay charges for simple acts like sipping a coffee or smoking a cigarette, the Calgary Sun said.
Motorists have been told they can still use GPS systems, but they must be programmed in advance and not while on the road, the report said. Hands-free telephone use is permitted.
Those convicted of distracted driving face a $172 fine, police said.
All 10 provinces now have similar bans. Among the three territories, Yukon has a cellphone driving ban in place, while the Northwest Territories and Nunavut will be implementing a similar law Jan. 1.
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