Patrol officers from the Sault Ste. Marie Police Service issued seven tickets for distracted driving (Drive using a hand held communication device sec 78.1(1) HTA) in one hour.
On Thursday the 6th of November, 2014 officers from Patrol Services conducted selected enforcement at a traffic controlled intersection for a period of one hour. During this one hour period officers observed, stopped and charged seven different drivers who were either talking or texting on a hand held electronic device.
Section 78.1(1) of the Highway Traffic Act states – “No person shall drive a motor vehicle on a highway while holding or using a hand-held wireless communication device or other prescribed device that is capable of receiving or transmitting telephone communications, electronic data, mail or text messages.”
Distracted driving is now the leading cause of traffic related deaths in Ontario. Every licensed driver has a responsibility to direct his or her complete attention to driving safely.
The definition of an accident is described as an unexpected and unforeseen incident. Distracted Driving is no accident. Driver distraction is a factor in about 4 million motor vehicle crashes in North America each year
As found on the CAA website. Drivers who are engaged in the following distractions are more likely to be in a crash or near crash event compared with non-distracted drivers.
Text messaging (or texting) on a cell phone — 23 times more likely
Talking on a cell phone — 4 to 5 times more likely
Reading — 3 times more likely
Applying makeup — 3 times more likely
Reaching for a moving object — 9 times more likely
Dialing on a hand-held device — 3 times more likely
Talking or listening on a hand-held device — 1.3 times more likely
The issue of distracted driving is one of the top traffic safety issues for the Sault Ste. Marie Police Service. We will continue to educate and enforce on distracted driving.