Park that phone! Distractive driving still a major killer

The OPP is targeting distracted drivers during March Break as it conducts its Distracted Driving Campaign.  They will also be focussing oin speeding, aggressive driving and seatbelt compliance.

While it’s illegal to talk or text when driving, police still report thousands of motorists are charged every year.

People are still not getting the message, or choosing to ignore it, at the potential peril of themselves and others.

Police say inattentive driving is the leading cause of death on OPP-patrolled roads.  Last year 55 people were killed, and more than 9,115 collisions were linked to distracted driving.

The OPP Interim Commissioner Gary Couture says, ”Among the most dangerous drivers are those who continue to ignore the facts and convince themselves that using a cell phone while driving is not dangerous.”

“These are preventable crashes,” says Const. Jason Folz.  “Taking your eye off the road for that fraction of a second could mean the difference of having a serious collision or not one at all.”

Stiffer penalties came into effect on Jan. 1, including fines up to $1,000 plus three demerit points and a three-day licence suspension for the first offence.

If convicted a second time, the fine increases to $3,000 plus six demerit points and a week-long licence suspension.

During last year’s campaign, more than 2,400 distracted driving charges were laid across the province.

Police hope more drivers have gotten the message and will keep their focus on the roads.