Distracted driving campaign begins Monday

Commencing this Monday, March 14th at 10:01 a.m., until Sunday, March 20th at 11:59 p.m., Perth County Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) officers will be working in conjunction with OPP officers throughout the province to participate in the OPP Distracted Driving Campaign.

During this week, additional focus will be placed on education and enforcement of the legislation pertaining to the use of electronic devices while operating motor vehicles, and careless driving as it relates to distracting behaviours while driving.

Since October 26, 2009, legislation in Ontario has been in place that specifically outlaws the use of handheld devices while driving and the use of in-vehicle entertainment systems visible to the driver. Since September 01, 2015, the minimum fine in Ontario for drivers caught using their electronic devices has increased from $280 to $490. Additionally, convicted motorists will now also accumulate three demerit points on their licences.

In 2015, the Perth County OPP actively participated in the March Distracted Driving Campaign. During this week they charged 54 drivers with driving a motor vehicle while using a hand-held communication device. Ironically, of these 54 drivers, 28 were charged within a period of 12 hours on Wallace Ave North in Listowel, by officers who were conducting a stationary patrol directly across from the Listowel OPP Detachment.

“The distracted driving epidemic has overtaken impaired driving as the number one cause of crashes in our province. I am hoping that the stigma attached to handling electronic devices while driving, attention in the media, increases in fines, and the accumulation of demerit points, will make people think twice before touching their device while driving”. Inspector Rob Scott, Detachment Commander, Perth County OPP.