Orillia, Ontario – The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) are stepping up their campaign against distracted driving. The force is in the second week of a four-week campaign dubbed Phone in one Hand, Ticket in the Other, during which officers will ensure that those who do not comply with distracted driving legislation are dealt with to the fullest extent of the law.
During the first week of the campaign, which ran from May 16 to 22, OPP officers throughout the province laid more than 1,600 charges related to distracted driving.
OPP Commissioner Chris Lewis said that there is much more to come. “My busy job as OPP Commissioner involves that I travel our roads and highways regularly, and I am astounded and dismayed at the number of drivers I see talking or texting on cell phones over the course of my travels,” Lewis said. “These people have no regard for the safety of their passengers or the people travelling around them whose lives they can end in a split second.”
During the campaign, the police will stop any drivers caught using a hand-held communications or other entertainment device, as well as those who exhibit careless driving due to distractions such as adjusting the radio, eating while driving, or searching for something in the vehicle.
In Ontario, using a cell phone or device capable of texting while driving can result in a $155 fine, while watching an entertainment device can result in a $110 fine. 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.