Friday, August 31, 2018

Attention Drivers: School is back on, turn cell phones off

The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) has investigated 5,619 collisions that involved an inattentive driver so far this year. Tragically, 31 people lost their lives in the collisions and 1,051 of the incidents left people with injuries.

Inattentive drivers continue to pose a serious threat to road users and are linked to the deaths of 738people on OPP-patrolled roads over the past ten years.    
The OPP is forewarning drivers ahead of the Labour Day Weekend that with children and other students making their way to and from school beginning next week, there will be zero tolerance for drivers who direct anything less than 100 per cent of their attention to driving.        
"Some drivers claim to be good multi-taskers behind the wheel and this is how they justify habitual texting, talking on their phone or other distractions while driving. This attitude has contributed to driver inattention being the deadliest behaviour on OPP-patrolled roads for the past five years. To help get the school year off to a safe start, develop a zero tolerance for anyone who claims to be a 'safe' distracted driver. There is no such thing and anyone who claims otherwise is a dangerous driver."
- Commissioner J.V.N. HAWKES, Ontario Provincial Police  
"As children go back to school and streets get busier, drivers are reminded to use extra caution and watch their speed when driving through school zones and crosswalks. Safety is our number one priority. Be mindful of all road users including other vehicles, buses, bikes, pedestrians and little ones getting on and off school buses – it's a good habit to practice year round."
- Michael Tibollo, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services
Simply holding a cell phone or other electronic device while driving is against the law.              
On January 1, 2019, penalties for distracted driving will increase to:
  • a fine of up to $1,000
  • three demerit points
  • a three-day driver's licence suspension
Also effective January 1, 2019, novice drivers will face the same fines as regular drivers and also face:
  • a 30-day licence suspension for a first conviction
  • a 90-day licence suspension for a second conviction
  • cancellation of your licence and removal from the Graduated Licencing System for a third conviction

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