(ORILLIA, ON) – The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) has concluded its recent Distracted Driving campaign and is reminding drivers that as of March 18, 2014, new legislation kicks in that will have officers issuing much heftier fines to those caught using a hand held device or watching an entertainment device while driving.
During the March 8-14 campaign, officers throughout the province were busy raising awareness among motorists that using a hand-held device and engaging in other forms of distraction while driving is a dangerous behaviour that, for three years in a row (from 2011-2013) has taken the lives of more innocent people than impaired driving (on OPP patrolled roads).
A total of 11 people have died so far this year (2014) in distracted driving related collisions on OPP patrolled roads and, according to some of the OPP’s Facebook followers, the public recognizes how serious a threat this driving behaviour poses to road users.
“I see many people driving and using their cell phones and not paying attention (to) traffic. They should be kept off of roads,” said one follower.
The OPP is reminding drivers that effective March 18, 2014, distracted driving fines increase from $155 to $280 (this includes the $225 fine plus a $50 victim fine surcharge and $5 court cost).
The OPP supports this and any other laws that help put an end to distracted driving. While OPP officers remain committed to doing their part to help eliminate this dangerous behaviour, they know that drivers themselves have to take action to put a stop to it.
This latest campaign brings the total number of province-wide OPP distracted driving charges up to 4,000 in 2014.
The OPP would like to thank all drivers, passengers and others who support their efforts to make Ontario roads free of distracted driving. Whether it be through responsible driving, speaking up to a distracted driver as a passenger or encouraging family and friends to put down their phone and leave it alone while driving, the OPP appreciates these positive actions, which can go a long way to helping make our roads safer.