The OPP is kicking off a provincial distracted driving campaign that will run over the next week, finishing on Sunday, March 19th. Officers will be out on the roads taking a combined approach of education and focused enforcement during the campaign.
The OPP reported 2016 marked the fourth consecutive year that inattentive drivers were behind the highest number of lives lost on OPP-patrolled roads over the other main causal factors in road fatalities, known as the “Big Four”. In total, 65 people died in OPP-investigated collisions last year in which an inattentive driver was either a contributing factor or the primary cause of the death. In comparison to the other Big Four categories, 2016 ended with 55 speed-related, 53 seatbelt-related and 45 alcohol-related deaths.
The OPP wants to remind drivers that anyone who drives while distracted that they face a set fine of $490 including the victim surcharge and a court fee, along with 3 demerit points. Drivers charged with Distracted Driving who contest the charges, can be fined up to $1000 and 3 demerit points on conviction. The OPP is calling on responsible drivers and passengers to speak up and refuse to tolerate distracted driving. The goal is to make distracted driving as socially unacceptable as impaired driving.