"If you are texting, you are not driving" says OPP Commissioner
ORILLIA, ON, March 11, 2016 /CNW/ - 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.
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
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
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.
"If you are texting, talking on your cell phone or pre-occupied with
other activities while behind the wheel, you are not driving safely. It
does not suffice to keep your eyes on the road. Driving involves
sharing space with drivers, their passengers, motorcyclists, cyclists
and pedestrians and it is impossible to do so safely unless your eyes
and mind are solely focused on driving."
- J.V.N. (Vince) Hawkes, Ontario Provincial Police Commissioner
"Distracted driving is just not worth it. It has been shown to be just
as dangerous as drinking and driving - something we all know is wrong.
Our government has worked hard to make our roads some of the safest in
North America, including taking strong action against individuals who
put themselves and others at risk by talking, texting and using
electronic devices while driving. We all have a role to play in keeping
our roads safe and I want to remind everyone to go hands-free and put
your hand-held devices away. It can mean all the difference."
- Yasir Naqvi, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services
The OPP is encouraging passengers of all ages to take a zero tolerance
approach to distracted driving. Take charge of your own safety and
speak up when you are in vehicle being driven by someone who is not
paying attention to the road and is endangering your life.
DID YOU KNOW?
On September 1, 2015 the fines and penalties for distracted driving were
increased. Click here to learn more:
SOURCE Ontario Provincial Police
For further information:
Contacts by Region:
Highway Safety Division
Sgt. Kerry Schmidt
Phone: (416) 460-4701
A/Sgt. Lynda Cranney
Phone: (705) 330-3738
Sgt. Kristine Rae
Phone: (613) 285-2750
North West Region
Const. Diana Cole
Phone: (807) 939-2133
North East Region
Sgt. Chrystal Jones
Phone: (705) 845-2753
Sgt. Dave Rektor
Phone: (519) 652-4156