The RCMP are reminding drivers all over the province to keep their eyes and focus on the road.

Mounties will be looking for distracted drivers all over the province this month. The RCMP handed out 7,611 distracted driving tickets in Alberta last year, that number has steadily growing since 2012. about 147 Albertans have been caught driving distracted so far this year.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reports that a driver is eight times more likely to be in a accident while texting on a phone and four times more likely to be in a crash while talking on a phone, even if using a hands-free device.

Sergeant Sarah Parke with the Bonnyville RCMP detachment knows cellphones are a common distraction. “It’s a $287 fine for anyone who’s caught on their cellphone while driving, even holding it in your hand on speakerphone is an offence, which some people may not be aware of.”

“We really encourage people to use their Bluetooth if they have it.” says Sergeant Parke. “If they don’t, don’t have the cellphone anywhere you’ll be tempted to pick it up while driving. Pull over if you need to use it.”

The RCMP also add a few tips for avoiding distracted driving include making sure children are comfortable and buckled up as well as setting the temperature and radio before leaving.