Police out watching for drivers using cell phones

Source: OPP press releases

STIRLING– Members of the Quinte Region Traffic Coalition (QRTC) gathered at the Stirling-Rawdon Police Service on May 12 to launch a
distracted driving enforcement campaign set to run from May 16 – 23.

Throughout the week long campaign, officers will be concentrating on a very common, but costly offence, driving while using a hand-held cell phone.

Officers will have zero tolerance for those found talking on their cell phone while driving. This latest QRTC initiative coincides with Canada Road Safety Week.

The goal of the Quinte Region Traffic Coalition is to reduce injuries and deaths on roads, trails and waterways in the region. It is a partnership of the Hastings & Prince Edward Counties Health Unit, Belleville Police Service, Stirling-Rawdon Police Service and the OPP Detachments serving Central Hastings, Quinte West, Prince Edward County and Bancroft.

Fast Facts on Distracted Driving:

  • In 2010, the OPP charged 8,522 drivers under Section 78.1 of the HTA for using a hand-held device while driving.
  • Police began enforcing the new distraction legislation in January 2010.
  • In 2010, there were 7,733 collisions on OPP-patrolled roads where the driver was deemed to be inattentive/distracted, resulting in 35 deaths, 1,040 injuries and considerable property damage. (Note: The preceding statistics refer to all forms of distracted/inattentive driving, not just the use of hand-held devices as outlined in Section 78.1, HTA.)
  • A recent study by researchers at the University of Utah concluded that drivers on mobile phones are more impaired than drivers driving over the legal limit.
  • A Canadian Automobile Association poll of 6,000 Canadian drivers found that “texting while driving” is the single biggest traffic safety concern of drivers while on the road.
  • A recent Ontario Health E-Bulletin indicated: “Teen-driver car crashes remain the leading cause of permanent injury and death in Canada, the United States and almost every industrialized nation world wide”. The main culprit is teenage overconfidence in emerging driving skills and a failure to acknowledge personal limitations. Teenagers falsely believe they can “drive distracted” without increasing the risk of a serious collision.

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