Ontario: Distracted Driving Still Biggest Factor in Road Deaths

Update:

Last year, 69 people died in road crashes in which driver distraction was a factor, compared to 61 speed-related, 51 seat belt-related and 45 alcohol/drug-related deaths.
Last year, 69 people died in road crashes in which driver distraction was a factor, compared to 61 speed-related, 51 seat belt-related and 45 alcohol/drug-related deaths. The penalties for distracted driving now include an increased set fine of $490 and three demerit points upon conviction. Along with the new fine, a Justice of the Peace could further increase the amount up to $1,000, if the case goes to court. Drivers without a full license (G1 or G2) will receive a 30-day suspension for the first conviction for distracted driving. photo by fightyourtickets.ca

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Heading into its annual Distracted Driving campaign next week (March 14-20, 2016), the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) confirmed that 2015 marked the third consecutive year that driver distraction as a causal factor exceeded all other categories of road deaths on OPP-patrolled roads.

Last year, 69 people died in road crashes in which driver distraction was a factor, compared to 61 speed-related, 51 seat belt-related and 45 alcohol/drug-related deaths.

Increase fines for distracted driving from the current range of $60 to $500 to a range of $300 to $1,000, assigning three (3) demerit points upon conviction, and escalating sanctions on convictions for novice drivers.

Numerous studies have been conducted on the risks associated with distracted driving – in particular, texting or talking on a cell phone while driving. Many of these studies have confirmed that this form of distracted driving is as dangerous as driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs. photo by fightyourtickets.ca

Heading into March Break, road users need to be aware of how serious a threat distracted drivers are to their safety. Each year for the past three years (2013-2015), OPP officers have laid approximately 20,000 distracted driving charges throughout the province, which is more than double the number of impaired driving charges they laid over the same three-year period.

Over and above cell phone use, the OPP continues to lay numerous charges every year against  motorists whose driving ability is compromised by other distractions such as eating, self-grooming, tending to kids in the back seat to name a few.

Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) cruiser.
Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) cruiser. photo by fightyourtickets.ca
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