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driving concerns

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Is it lawful for police to issue a ticket in Calgary for distracted driving based on a dashboard video recording from a third party? — House of Ny's via Twitter

If you're caught breaking traffic laws on camera, whether it's a dashboard recorder, cell phone, or any other device, police can charge you. But the video's shooter will have to testify in court, Calgary police say.

"The person has to be willing to go to court to testify and we have to get some positive identification," says Staff Sgt. Paul Stacey, with Calgary Police Traffic Services. "The case can't rely solely on video, it's an extension of what the witness will say in court."

What if you see a driver texting but didn't take a picture? You could report them. But, without evidence it probably wouldn't lead to charges, Stacey says.

Distracted driving carries a $172 fine in Alberta. Like Ontario and Nova Scotia, Alberta doesn't add demerits for the offence.

It's illegal for drivers to be holding a phone or electronic device anytime they're on the road. That includes waiting at stop lights.

"It's a common misconception that it's legal to text when stopped at a light or if your vehicle's stopped in traffic," Stacey says. "It's only allowed when you're safely pulled over and the vehicle is in park."

Click here for a list of the laws and penalties for distracted driving across the country.


Warranty woes

I bought a 2013 Toyota Tacoma in June of 2013 and bought a 5 year extended warranty through the dealer. I'm now trading it in at a Chevrolet dealership. The Toyota dealer's finance department says the warranty stays with the vehicle and I am not eligible to receive a rebate. The Chevrolet dealer says I can't transfer the warranty to them but Toyota should give me a rebate. I am taking a pretty good sized loss on the Tacoma, and now possibly on the extended warranty also. — Will

Tell your Toyota dealer to go read the fine print. You can cancel the extended warranty and get some money back, Toyota Canada says.

"If the customer is looking to cancel his or her Extra Care Protection agreement and seek reimbursement for the remainder of the agreement, there is a cancellation section on the agreement…" says Toyota Canada's Melanie Testani in an email. "There is a $100 fee, and the reimbursement amount is pro-rated and calculated based on time or mileage, whichever is greater."

The original warranty automatically stays with the vehicle, but the extended warranty doesn't. It stays with you, unless you cancel it or pass it on to the next owner, Testani says.

So, could you sign the warranty over to the Chevy dealership so they could pass it on to the new owner?

"There is no limit to the number of transfers as long as it takes place with the kms and timing of the agreement period," Testani says.

If you have questions about driving or car maintenance, please contact our experts at

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