Orillia, Ontario – The Distracted Driving Campaign by the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) is in full swing this week, with officers warning motorists that they will focus on stringent enforcement of distracted driving laws on Ontario roads.
Since May 2011, the OPP has carried out three of its four one-week Phone In One Hand, Ticket In The Other campaigns. “Because this dangerous driving behaviour has become a widespread issue among all of our policing partners, in North America and beyond, everyone should be familiar with the dangers,” said Chief Superintendent Don Bell of the OPP Highway Safety Division. “The lack of compliance we continue to see on our roads today is nothing more than a blatant disregard for the law and a personal choice to continue making distracted driving a dangerous, life-threatening habit, rather than a case of a misinformed motoring public.”
As of February 12, 2012, there have been eight distracted driving-related fatalities on OPP-patrolled roads in Ontario, a 165 per cent spike compared to the same period in 2011.
Using a cell phone or device capable of texting while driving can result in a fine of $155. Watching an entertainment device can result in a fine of $110, while other forms of distracted driving can result in a charge of careless driving, with fines ranging from $400 to $2,000, a possible licence suspension of up to two years, and/or a jail term of not more than six months, depending on the circumstances.