OPP completes the final week of "Phone in One Hand, Ticket in the Other"
ORILLIA, ON, Feb. 23, 2012 /CNW/ - Here are the facts:
Nearly 12 months ago the OPP added distracted driving to their list of
top contributing factors in fatal collisions. "The big 4".*
Using the lessons learned from a study in the U.S. related to
distraction enforcement, the OPP implemented a comprehensive awareness
and enforcement campaign called "Phone in One Hand, Ticket in the Other".
Campaigns were launched last May, July, September of 2011 and finally,
last week. Each campaign included a week of awareness information
through the media followed by a week of focused enforcement.
The number of distraction related offences initiated by OPP officers
increased 110% compared to the year previous. The number of fatal
collisions caused by an inattentive driver decreased by 25%.
* (the remaining three components of "the big four" are impaired driving,
aggressive driving and non-compliance with occupant restraint laws)
OPP officers across the province charged 2454 drivers with
distraction-related offences from February 13 to 19, 2012. That's 350
violations each day. "We'd prefer the number of drivers charged each
day was zero" says Deputy Commissioner Larry Beechey, Provincial
Commander of Traffic Safety and Operational Support. "Although we have
indeed had some success with our campaign, this is a clear indication
that we have a great deal of work to do yet."
In the first seven weeks of 2012, nine deaths on OPP patrolled roads are
attributed to an inattentive driver. That's more than alcohol and
speed combined. Chief Superintendent Don Bell, Commander of the Highway
Safety Division said, "Our efforts to reduce fatal collisions are not
limited to specific campaign dates. Our strict enforcement of
distraction laws are a priority every day. These deaths are completely
preventable and we'll continue to encourage voluntary compliance for
the right reasons."
Under the Highway Traffic Act of Ontario, using a cell phone or device
capable of texting while driving can result in a fine of $155. Also,
watching an entertainment device can result in a fine of $110. Other
forms of distracted driving can result in a charge of Careless Driving
with fines ranging from $400 to $2,000, a possible licence suspension
of up to two years and/or a jail term of not more than six months.
Radio stations are invited to download and use Public Service
Announcements about the dangers of distracted driving from http://www.opp.ca/ecms/index.php?id=545.
SOURCE Ontario Provincial Police
For further information:
Contacts by OPP Region:
Highway Safety Division: Sergeant Dave Woodford Phone: (416) 553-5471
Central Region: Sergeant Peter Leon Phone: (705) 329-7414
East Region: Sergeant Kristine Rae Phone: (613) 284-4500
North East Region: Inspector Mark Andrews Phone: (705) 471-0704
North West Region: Sergeant Shelley Gar Phone: (807) 473-2734
West Region: A/Sergeant Aaron McPhail Phone: 1-888-802-9863