Police Chiefs Take Dead Aim at Texting/Calling While Driving at Kick-off of the 2011 OACP R.I.D.E. Drive Safe! Campaign

TORONTO, May 19 /CNW/ - Ontario's Police Chiefs kicked off the province-wide 2011 OACP R.I.D.E. Drive Safe! Campaign in Toronto by taking dead aim at texting and calling from handheld devices while driving.

"Distracted driving is a major cause of collisions, serious injuries, and death on Ontario roads," said Superintendent Earl Witty, head of the Toronto Police Service's Traffic Unit and Co-Chair of the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police's (OACP) Traffic Committee. "Police across the province will continue to take dead aim at all forms of distracted driving, including the irresponsible behavior of drivers who think that texting or making phone calls on their handheld devices is perfectly okay."

The 2011 OACP R.I.D.E. Drive Safe! Campaign is being launched during Police Week and will support efforts throughout the next year by the Ontario Provincial Police, municipal, and First Nations police services across Ontario to eliminate texting/calling and other forms of distracted driving on our roadways.

"Distracted driving is seriously under-reported in the statistics of Ontario police services and is a major cause of collisions throughout the province," said Chief Superintendent Bill Grodzinski, Commander of the OPP's Highway Safety Division and OACP Traffic Committee Co-Chair. "When mandatory seat-belt laws came into effect 35 years ago, police played a major role in educating motorists on the dangers of not wearing a seatbelt. Today, our officers have to fight the denial that texting or calling from a handheld device isn't as dangerous as other unacceptable driving behaviours."

Provincial, municipal, regional, and First Nations police services will have access to Drive Safe! Campaign information for use in their local traffic safety campaigns through the year. In addition to the booklet distribution, Drive Safe! posters will be on display at 600 LCBO stores across Ontario, government offices, police stations, and at select sponsor locations. To download the Drive Safe! booklet, please access the OACP's website at www.oacp.ca.

Members of the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police serve their communities
as the senior police leaders in municipal, regional, provincial, national, and
First Nations police services across Ontario

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SOURCE Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police

For further information:

Joe Couto
Director of Government Relations & Communications
T. (416) 926-0424 ext. 22
C. (416) 919-9798

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