March 14, 2016 10:00am
According to the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), distracted driving continues to be the leading cause of death on the road for the third consecutive year.
In 2015, 69 people died from accidents related to distracted driving. Between 2013 and 2015, the OPP handed out more than 60,000 tickets to drivers who disobeyed the province’s distracted driving laws. According to the OPP, that number surpasses the number of tickets the provincial police outfit gave to drivers who drove while under under influence of alcohol and other substances.
The Government of Ontario banned the use of a mobile device while driving in 2009. Since September 1, 2015, anyone caught using their handheld device while driving will be fined a minimum of $490 and receive three demerit points.
Vince Hawkes, Ontario Provincial Police Commissioner, said, “if you are texting, talking on your cell phone or pre-occupied with other activities while behind the wheel, you are not driving safely. It does not suffice to keep your eyes on the road. Driving involves sharing space with drivers, their passengers, motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians and it is impossible to do so safely unless your eyes and mind are solely focused on driving.”
This week the OPP will be once again targeting distracted drivers on the roads. The police service is taking to social media with the hashtag #IPromise, asking Ontarians to commit to not using their mobile device while driving.