A month long blitz is underway with Sault Ste. Marie Police Service and the Sault OPP targeting distracted drivers and so far it’s paying off.
On Wednesday Sault Police stopped and ticketed 50 drivers who were either texting while driving or on their phones. Sergeant Ray Magnan tells SaultOnline.com that the Great Northern Road and Second Line intersection is a hot bed for detracted drivers – about 30 of the 50 tickets issued Wednesday were found at that intersection.
Plain clothed officers are on foot watching drivers. “They are looking for drivers who have a device in their hand or they are on the phone. Magnan says one sure sign is the car that isn’t moving when the rest of the traffic is. “Chances are they are looking down and texting when that happens”
Being a distracted driver comes with a big cost. Each driver is faced with a $280 fine though Magnan says there’s legislation to increase those fines and also add demerit points.
Magnan says he has a top ten list of excuses from drivers, such as “I was just checking the time or I had important email from work”
Just how bad is this problem? SaultOnline.com stood with one of the plain clothed officers at the corner of Second Line and within ten minutes the officer had noticed two drivers in violation.
The officer would then radio one of the patrol cars further up the street with a description of the vehicle and what the driver was doing.
Solid research shows that distracted drivers are more likely to cause collisions and serious injury than impaired drivers.
Motorist are reminded that the offense is committed when the driver is holding the phone – whether the driver is using it or not. Police say the phone may be used if all of the following is present. That the motor vehicle is off the roadway or lawfully parked on the roadway, That the motor vehicle is not in motion and the motor vehicle is not impeding traffic.