banni--reOttawa, Ontario – A national campaign to warn drivers of the dangers of using cell phones and other devices while driving has been launched by the Canadian Global Road Safety Committee. The committee is made up of injury prevention and road safety professionals.

The campaign, Leave the Phone Alone, was inspired by a similar crusade by American television talk show host Oprah Winfrey. The committee said that thousands of drivers, especially younger drivers, are still using their cell phones and texting behind the wheel in in spite of increased risk of injury and recent laws banning their use in some Canadian provinces.

The campaign outlines the following:

– Over 90 per cent of Canada’s licensed drivers are affected by distraction legislation in their home province or territory. It is illegal to use a hand-held phone to call or text.

– A study found that in 80 per cent of the crashes examined, the driver had looked away from the road in the three-second period prior to the crash. It does not take very long to create the conditions for a crash.

– Another study found that drivers who text have a crash rate 23 times greater than when they are not texting.

– Even when using a hands-free phone, drivers are less likely to be aware of the driving environment around them.

To sign up for a pledge and to obtain a window sticker, visit Leave The Phone Alone.

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