OPP set for distracted driving blitz
Published Sunday, March 13, 2016 5:27PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, March 14, 2016 3:06PM EDT
It is a busy travel week with thousands heading in and out of the city for March Break.
Ontario Provincial Police will be cracking down on drivers who are not paying attention to the roads. Starting on Monday, officers will be out doing a distracted driving blitz on Ontario highways.
“If you’re eyes aren’t on the road, you don’t know what is happening around you, whether that be with other drivers, pedestrians, or wildlife. Any of those things can cause havoc on our highways,” said Sgt. Kristine Rae.
New numbers released this week show distracted driving is the number one cause of death on the roads. In 2015, 69 people died as a result of distracted driving on Ontario Highways, this was followed by the 61 deaths related to speeding and 45 deaths related to impaired driving.
OPP say each year, for the past three years, officers have laid about 20,000 distracted driving charges throughout the province.
Barbara Campbell said she learned a lesson about distracted driving the hard way.
“People can’t leave their phones alone, and I’ve been in a situation, I’ve been in an accident before because of that and now I won’t take my phone out of my purse once I’m in the car – it can’t come out,” Campbell said.
OPP say the message about driving safely does not just apply during the March break - but anytime a driver gets behind the wheel.
“Anybody who has travelled the highway knows it’s shut down for several hours, not to mention a loss of life and what friends and family have to go through,” said Sgt. Rae.
If a person is caught distracted driving they could face a fine of $490 and three demerit points.