The Toronto Police Service’s (TPS) zero tolerance campaign against distracted driving is underway and will continue until January 20th, 2019.
According to the TPS, “members of the public can expect zero tolerance enforcement targeting drivers using hand-held devices.”
The campaign itself is part of the City of Toronto’s ‘Vision Zero Road Safety Plan,’ but also serves to raise awareness for the Province of Ontario’s new distracted driving laws that came into force on January 1st, 2019.
According to the new rules, drivers found to be operating a motor vehicle while using a “hand-held communication … entertainment device” can be fined up to $2,000, face a jail term of six months, have their license suspended for up to two years, as well as earn six demerit points.
While the mere act of holding a device while driving is against the law, drivers can use hands-free devices as well as mounted devices while operating a motor vehicle.
Still, Toronto Police have cautioned drivers to pay attention to the road while driving.
Our @TorontoPolice Zero Tolerance Distracted Driving campaign continues.
There have been a few questions regarding what is considered "distracted driving".
Hopefully this helps…..#DoYouSEEWhatsHappening pic.twitter.com/sEbZtvVj7E
— Mark McCabe (@IrishTPScop) January 15, 2019
“To drivers who think that they can hide their use of a hand-held device by simply holding it down or out of plain sight from police, we have a message,” reads an excerpt from a January 11th, 2019 media release. “Toronto Police Officers will be utilizing all types of vehicles and tactics during this campaign to look for distracted drivers.”
CBC News reported that police officers will also be riding TTC buses and streets to spot drivers attempting to use cell phones and other electronics while driving.
According to Ontario distracted driving statistics, one person is injured in a distracted driving collision every half hour.
Additionally, drivers using a phone are reportedly four times more likely to crash than drivers paying attention to the road.