Orillia, Ontario – The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) has wrapped up the final week of its Phone in One Hand, Ticket in the Other campaign against distracted driving. The campaigns were launched in May, July and September of 2011, and then last week in February 2012. Each included a week of awareness information through the media, followed by a week of focused enforcement.

The number of distraction-related offences initiated by OPP officers increased 110 per cent compared to the previous year, while the number of fatal collisions caused by an inattentive driver decreased by 25 percent.

Across the province, OPP officers charged 2,454 drivers with distraction-related offences from February 13 to 19, or 350 per day. “We’d prefer the number of drivers charged each day was zero,” said Deputy Commissioner Larry Beechey. “Although we have indeed had some success with our campaign, this is a clear indication that we have a great deal of work to do yet.”

In the first seven weeks of 2012, nine deaths on OPP-patrolled roads were attributed to an inattentive driver, more than alcohol and speed combined.

“Our efforts to reduce fatal collisions are not limited to specific campaign dates,” said Chief Superintendent Don Bell. “Our strict enforcement of distraction laws are a priority every day. These deaths are completely preventable and we’ll continue to encourage voluntary compliance for the right reasons.”

Connect with Autos.ca