Distracted drivers being watched by Ontario Provincial Police

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Distracted drivers are a major problem around the world and Ontario is no different with as many as 41 deaths already attributed to distracted driving.

In a bid to ensure safety of the drivers and others on the road, Ontario Provincial Police is on the lookout for distracted drivers to not only raise awareness about distracted driving, but to also enforce new legislation that carries tough penalties.

With the number of collisions on road caused by distracted drivers already up by twenty percent over last year, the OPP says that not only they are committed to raising awareness about the dangers of distracted driving, they are also going to enforce the new legislation that has been enacted wherein distracted driving now carries a penalty of $490 and 3 demerit points.

If drivers decide to contest this, they can be fined up to $1000 upon conviction for inattentive driving. Police are serious about this deadly driving practise, and the OPP is hopeful that higher fines will help reduce the number of distracted driving-related deaths and collisions on Ontario roads.

Four ONroute Highway Service Centres now offer designated “Text Stops” where travellers are encouraged to stop and text. The partnership between the Ministry of Transportation and the OPP has officials hopeful that the new “Text Stops” will keep motorists from reaching for a cell phone while the vehicle is in motion. The four service centre locations include King City, Cambridge North, Woodstock and Port Hope.

“There are three types of distraction when driving: taking your eyes off the road, taking your hands off the wheel, and taking your mind off driving. All of these can endanger lives, but texting while driving is especially dangerous because it combines all three types of distraction. Leave the phone alone while driving. I encourage all motorists to keep their eyes on the road; let’s make sure everyone gets to their destination safely this Labour Day weekend.” said Brad Blair, OPP Deputy Commissioner, Traffic Safety and Operational Support.