Ontario Provincial Police have launched a traffic safety campaign to remind drivers to put down their phones and pay attention to the road over March Break.
OPP officers will target distracted drivers this week, OPP Supt. Tony Cristilli told reporters on Monday. He said that the aim of the campaign is to reduce the number of crashes, injuries and fatalities resulting from inattentive motorists.
He added, “Distracted driving is a danger to all road users.We want to see everyone develop and maintain a complete intolerance for distracted driving and to make it socially unacceptable driving behaviour.”
If convicted of distracted driving, the OPP said in a news release that a fully licensed driver will receive:
- a fine of $400, plus a victim surcharge and court fee, for a total of $490, if settled out of court.
- a fine of up to $1,000 if a driver receives a summons or fights the ticket.
- three demerit points applied to a driver’s record.
Distracted drivers are those who are engaged in any activity that is taking their focus away from driving. That includes talking on cell phones, texting, reading and eating.
Cristilli said the campaign, intended to heighten awareness of the risks of distracted driving while attempting to change driver behaviour, will take the form of public education, engagement and enforcement.
“You can seriously injure or kill yourself or someone else for simply not paying attention. Ontario has some of the safest roads in North America. But road safety requires an ongoing commitment to education and public safety initiatives like this one,” he said.
The OPP wants to “drive home the message” that 100 per cent of crashes involving driver inattention are preventable, he said.
The #OPP is launching the March Break – Distracted driving – Provincial Traffic Safety Campaign.
Your actions can have tragic consequences on other motorists with whom you share the road.#BeSafe#PutDownThePhone pic.twitter.com/BhAOZcpwOb
— Sgt Kerry Schmidt (@OPP_HSD) 12 March 2018