Someone in Edmonton drove with a ferret (not this ferret) around their neck.
Someone in Edmonton drove with a ferret (not this ferret) around their neck. Aurélien Mora/CC BY-SA 4.0

Last week, police in Edmonton set aside 24 hours to conduct a crackdown—dubbed the “Big Ticket Event”—on dangerous driving. Their efforts resulted in 2,442 citations for traffic violations, all recorded between last Wednesday and Thursday. 

The police department’s press release on the operation included one violation that stuck out: a person who was issued a ticket for “having a live ferret around their neck.” 

An Edmonton police official tells Atlas Obscura that she didn’t have any ”additional information” on the matter, except to say that the driver was issued a distracted driving ticket, the penalties for which are a fine equivalent to around $217, in addition to points on one’s license. 

The crackdown was enforced in part using a new distracted-driving law that went into effect in Alberta last year. Interacting with your pet is not specifically outlawed, but the province has said the issue was their “most frequently asked question.” 

The answer?

“In situations where the driver becomes too involved with their pet, police could reasonably argue that the distraction is comparable to the specifically banned activities of reading, writing, and grooming, and lay a charge,” the Canadian province writes on their web site. 

Perhaps you think your ferret-handling skills are pretty good, and, in this multitasking world we live in, you can safely drive while dealing with a furry, alive animal near your eyes and ears. But beware, the Edmonton police probably disagree.