OPP Conduct Full Force Distracted Driving Campaign
(ORILLIA, ON) - Inattentive driving is linked to more collisions on Ontario Provincial Police (OPP)-patrolled roads so far this year than speeding and alcohol/drug-related collisions combined.
Since January 1, 2017, driver distraction has been reported as the primary cause in 6,360 road collisions. In contrast, speed was the primary cause in 4,700 crashes, while 1,158 of the incidents involved a driver who consumed alcohol or drugs.
A total of 47 people have died so far this year because of an inattentive driver, up from 39 such deaths this time last year.
With children and other students taking to the streets and being bused to school beginning next week, the need for motorists to pay full attention to driving - and for others to take a firm stand against drivers who are not -- has never been greater.
"Our collision data is compelling evidence that drivers who text, talk on their cell phone or are distracted in some other way, take a tremendous toll on the safety of those who share the road with them. Public complacency about inattentive driving can be just as dangerous as the behaviour itself. Until drivers, passengers and the general public take a firm stand against this road safety issue, these tragedies are expected to continue in large numbers on our roads,'' said J.V.N. (Vince) Hawkes, OPP Commissioner.
It is important that we remind ourselves of the dangers of distracted driving. On the road, please remember to put down the phone and focus your full attention on safe driving," said Marie-France Lalonde, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services
HOW YOU CAN HELP
· As a driver, keep your cell phone out of sight. If you need to use it, pull over at a safe location.
· As a passenger, speak up and voice your concerns about your safety when travelling with a distracted driver. By ignoring the problem, you are contributing to the problem.
· Spread the word at your school or workplace about the dangers of distracted driving.
· Highlight the dangers of distracted driving on social media.
· Be a voice in your community.
QUICK FACT ABOUT DISTRACTED DRIVING
With the exception of 2012, inattentive drivers have taken more lives on OPP-patrolled roads than speeding and alcohol-impaired drivers since Ontario distracted driving laws took effect in 2009.