Toronto and York Regional Police kick off a 6-week distracted driving blitz

Ian Hardy

July 29, 2014 1:12pm

Just in time for the long weekend is another distracted driving blitz by the Toronto and York Regional Police. The 6-week initiative kicks off today with a goal to “raise awareness regarding high risk behaviours behind the wheel and to urge drivers to focus on the road.”

The OPP recently reported that distracted driving has slowly become the “#1 Killer on Roads,” overtaking drinking and driving. Individuals using their mobile device while driving — talking, emailing, texting, surfing the web, or holding your device — could face a fine upwards of $280.

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne said that distracted driving is “a real problem, and that’s why we’ll be reintroducing the legislation.” Wynn is expected to propose an increase to raise the maximum fine to $1,000, and also penalize those caught disobeying the law and with three demerit points.

Source: CNW

  • 5Gs

    Funny enough why not raised it to $10,000 so Wynne can have more fun in her pool party. Is it just me or getting rid of sins are not a priority any more but punishing sinner is a new norm. What’s next? Increase in insurance because paying $200 for excellent 15 year driving record is not excellent enough.

    • potatohead

      this is the doing of harper and his cronies. corrupting canada to the max and pulling money from canadians.
      HEAVE STEVE 2015

    • alphs22

      Wynne introduces legislation, Harper gets the blame?

    • potatohead

      yes

    • Ryan Laker

      #ohcanada

    • Guest

      Sounds like potatohead is one of the uneducated people who live in our country. :)

    • MaXiM

      I really don’t get it – why is this a BAD thing? It is proven how many accidents happen because of using cell phones – why this has to be political? Would you ask the driver if they’re Liberal or Conservative if they , God forbid, hit your kid?

    • 5Gs

      No but please do tell me is it going to stop? Never ever. Can any one stay away from looking into their smart phone screen? If answer is no then trust me nothing will happen regarding this.

    • Raion

      Well, it might stop the people who get fined. It might also stop their friends. If people can’t stop looking at their phones, they don’t deserve to be on the road.

    • Jakob

      Apply that argument to drunk driving and tell me if it makes sense.

    • Nadefrenzy

      Distracted driving is a small negligence. Drunk driving is very much deliberate.

    • 5Gs

      I can’t because people don’t drink 24/7

  • gtasscarlo

    How about we get Wynne to pay back the gas plant scandal, the eHealth scandal, the MaRS scandal. How about her obeying the law, and not committing fraud. Seems fair if she wants to tax us with tickets.

    • Ulysses Grant

      She probably will…that is why she wanted to increase the fines to 1000 dollars. That way it will speed up the payment. LOL

    • Andrew English

      $1000 fine isn’t so bad. In some places in the US if you are caught driving over the limit in a school zone you are fined $1000 on the spot. I just think if it’s not being done already that the distracted driving charge should show up peoples driving record so their insurance can see it. This way their insurance company can raise their rates to $1000 a month of they choose to! :)

    • iPwn8599

      maybe you shouldn’t be driving around staring at your phone…

      then you won’t be paying anyone for tickets.

      nor killing anyone – or yourself.

  • potatohead

    …meanwhile the pigs are on their tax payers paid smartphones dealing with “emergency calls” – aka chatting with their other police buddies on what they are going to do after work and whose house to go to, to smoke weed and do lines of coke. Good job pigs!

    • alphs22

      You’ve been watching too many movies.

    • potatohead

      i have. with your mom while she blows me

    • Dimitri

      Is that comment really nessasary? Dude grow up and act your age for once.

    • KiwiBri

      doubt it. So many corrupt cops. Maybe you dont live in the GTA

    • Dimitri

      You have been watching way to many movies and know nothing at all it seems. Unfortunately for u i have a few buddies in the OPP and Toronto Police which i can tell you that none of them do anything like u said above. Some do it but most don’t. You don’t realize that and put the blame on all of them.

    • PresidentSambo

      one bad cop is one to many POLICE YOURSELF FIRST!

      If you want to be the representation of the law you need to be held to a standard that is 10X higher than those who you are judging. IF YOU CANT HANDLE THAT THEN YOU SHOULDN’T BE POLICING OTHERS SIMPLE AS THAT. Remember they CHOSE this job. They can chose McDonalds if that is more their integrity level.

    • Andrew English

      The police under the law are exempted from cell phone laws, actually all emergency services are.

  • skinnypig

    I don’t get all the negative comments. This blitz is a good thing. I see too many drivers out there still texting behind the wheel. And if they want to raise the fine, well that fine by me!

    • Chris Stoochnoff

      Could not agree more.

    • PresidentSambo

      THIS DOES NOTHING TO CHANGE PEOPLE BEHAVIOUR!!
      THIS IS A CASH GRAB PLAIN AND SIMPLE. I BET YOU ARE ONE OF THOSE IDIOTS THAT BELIEVES HIS/HER MP REALLY CARES ABOUT HIS/HER CONSTITUENTS AND NOT JUST ABOUT GETTING RE-ELECTED.

  • Roger

    What happens if they see you texting while stopped at a light? Is that also illegal?

    • J. W.

      I believe so (at least in the GTA). My dad got ticketed for holding his phone while stopped at a light. You’d have to be parked, or stopped off to the side with emergency lights.

    • Kishan Latchman

      Even then, you can still get ticketed. A few years back, I was at the side of a road, in Park and with my 4-ways on. I had to check something important, and a cop gave me a ticket… wasn’t a busy road. Lucky for me, he didn’t show up in court and the ticket got thrown out. The clerk at the court said you can’t be on the road, you have to pull into a driveway or private property

    • J. W.

      Thanks for the tip. Kinda sucks, though…glad it worked out for you in the end.

    • Andrew English

      Be careful with this (everyone). The younger cops now in the Toronto and OPP are “paid” to show up in court. Places like XCopper will tell ask you “was it a young cop who gave you ticket” because for them its an uphill climb to reduce your ticket and in most cases they tell you that your SOL.

    • KiwiBri

      yep

    • Ryan Laker

      The light changes and people have to start honking because you’re too busy staring at your crotch to notice the green.

    • Jakob

      Or too busy looking at your smartphone :)

    • KiwiBri

      lol

    • Andrew English

      Yes it still illegal.

  • nekkidtruth

    For all the good this does. London kicked off a “blitz” and in the last couple of weeks I’ve seen more people on their phones than I ever have. One guy almost sideswiped me the other day. I pull up beside him ready to give him a piece of my mind and sure enough, he wasn’t even looking over as he was too busy yapping on his phone.

    • Dimitri

      Normally my buddy takes a picture of the person on their phone and takes a picture of the licence plate. Then calls it in. A few times we have seen them being pulled over within minutes. I don’t care how bad that sounds but they know the rules, they should obey them or else get a ticket.

      My other buddy is a undercover cop that uses a normal car that doesn’t look like a cop car, he issues tickets like crazy for seeing people on their phones..

    • KiwiBri

      Good to hear. Is this in the GTA?

    • Dimitri

      Yup it is. Toronto Police and my other buddy in OPP. They both do it. Some cops do it. They are trained to watch for that stuff but unfortunately some cops don’t.

    • Nadefrenzy

      Bet he also sits around in hiding spots besides prime intersections for catching speeders. What a life. Live to ruin someone’s day all day. I love money but damn even I couldn’t do that.

    • Stef

      Better to ruin one’s day then one’s life!

    • Nadefrenzy

      Yes, sure. Catch those criminals who do 180km/h on the highway. Those speeders are the danger—not people going 15-20 km over the limit (which btw do take winter into account) in clear conditions.

    • Roger

      If he takes a picture of someone else while driving, isn’t that same as using a handheld device while driving?

    • Dimitri

      Dashboard camera which turns left and right.. He isn’t using his phone taking take pictures. He has a legal Dashboard camera which records and takes pictures. This way if a accident happens, he has it recorded. In Russia they do this and some people here do it.

    • KiwiBri

      Yep. I am running a dashcam myself. Its nice to have.. esp. after the Ragu incident a couple years ago.

    • Sequoia46.2

      Yeah except it’s also illegal to take pictures.

    • Dimitri

      While that is true, go tell that to the ones that do it without the legal papers. He works for the OPP and has legal papers which say that he can take a picture with the dashboard camera if a accident happens, someone using their cell phone or something illegal happens.. When he reports it, the officer he deals with erases it.

      You know how many i see a day taking pictures and posting it on Instagram, Facebook and other sites? Many.

    • Sequoia46.2

      Yeah, he’s a cop, but I would not recommend it for anyone else.

    • Dimitri

      You could if u go to the city and get the legal papers. It takes time but if u get approved you can. I am in the process of doing it my self actually. You just have to make sure you don’t publicly release the picture or video. It’s only used for accidents basically.

    • Roger

      I have one of those dash cams on my car. It would be to much work to take the picture, transfer it to a phone/computer, then send it in. For your police friend doing it, I’m sure he has a more robust setup.

    • KiwiBri

      Why do you need legal papers?
      I am not aware of any rules or requirements needing licensing for a dashcam in Ontario.

    • Andrew English

      Cool maybe I should meet your friend some day. I have a Dod Tech LS430w on my car that records at 30fps and 1080p. You can make out the license plates, etc. I started to compiling footage I have taken over the last several years to put it up online. Not to taunt to police but to show them creating a separate task force (like they did with the parking people) would bring revenue to the Toronto police services so there wouldn’t be a shortfall. Call them traffic police if you will. :)

    • KiwiBri

      ..and thats why you have Air Horns.. A NICE LONG blast on a summers day when they have their windows opened. Love seeing the fuckers jump

  • J. W.

    Well, that escalated quickly.

  • MrMM

    goal to raise awareness or goal to raise money?

    • neo905

      Raise money for the government coffers to put to waste. Rinse. Repeat. It’s all just tax revenue.

  • deltatux

    Wait wait, so if I have my Bluetooth, I can’t be on the phone?

    • Dimitri

      If your talking on a bluetooth and both ur hands are free, you are fine. This is if u are holding ur phone while driving. Bluetooth is built into most cars or some have the bluetooth speaker on the top.

    • deltatux

      the way the article puts it sounds like talking regardless over Bluetooth or not got me confused.

    • Dimitri

      Yeah Ian needs to explain it a bit better but hands free Bluetooth is fine.

  • Unorthodox

    Those are real baby hands on the picture.

  • beyond

    this is good, but implementing better drivers education would be even better. I would use a simulated car crash to scare drivers into compliance. scare them real good….

  • KiwiBri

    people will still continue to do it.. look at how many people still speed?

    How about clamping down on the bad drivers.. the left lane bandits, the failure to signal, the illegal parkers? No.. because theres no real revenue gain or political gain.

    • Roger

      As much as I hate left lane bandits and illegal parking, they just cause congestion, not kill lives.

    • KiwiBri

      true, though the left lane bandits do cause some ragers..
      As much as I love cell phones myself, Ive had GSM phones since the late 1990s (NZ and UK before Canada) I hate how we have now become *dependant* on them..

  • Jakob

    If phones were call-only, the driving and phone thing wouldn’t be such a huge problem. It’s the SMS, email, music, and everything else that requires you to look at the screen thats the problem. I remember driving with my good old flip-phone back in the day and you didn’t even need to look at it to pick it up and never had to take your eyes off the road. It was about as dangerous as changing a radio station of fumbling with the controls warm up your car.

    Now you see people damn near run right off the roads or into other cars because of it.

    • Nadefrenzy

      Yea let’s ban gps too while driving or heck why not even ban advanced safety features. I mean after all that would surely teach Em right?

  • Chris Lucier

    As someone who sees distracted drivers everywhere, I think the police will have a hard time keeping up with everyone who’s guilty of this.

    Also, I wonder if how drivers would react if they offered a choice of a $1,000 fine or a $50/month increase to people’s insurance rates for a couple years. Either way, I don’t see anyone stopping. Just doing what they always do and try to be sneaky/quick about it.

  • Andrew English

    They need to increase the fines to something high enough so that people think twice when they get caught or if they are in an accident caused by their distracted driving. I also think the government needs to create legislation similar to the what the Brits did recently were by the can seize your smartphone if you are in an accident to analyze it to see if you were using it at the time of the accident. Since the Brits work closely with human rights on laws photo radar and others I am sure they asked for human rights input when creating the new legislation, our government needs to do as well to minimize people wasting tax payers dollars by taking their tickets so court. Lastly these offences need to show up on peoples insurance and insurance companies needs to start playing hardball with distracted drivers, raising their rates to a higher level.

  • ForcedUpdatesEatmyASS

    Tiitle is wrong should read : ‘6 week summer fundraising campaign”

  • Andrew English

    Fines do curve people behaviours as they are reflected on ones insurance and well all know how insurance companies love to play by the book. People just have to realize IT”S A PRIVILEGE TO DRIVE IN CANADA, and it isn’t their right to drive!

  • Andrew English

    You sound like a irresponsible driver who thinks it’s their god given right to drive in Ontario or Canada for that matter. Well you are completely wrong and people like you attract the police. I should mention listening to Peel Regional Police scanners I hear people on the highways of the GTA reporting irresponsible drivers license plates to them. I bet your plate has been reported in the past!! LOL

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