Inattentive Drivers Pose Serious Threat

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Labour Day weekend is upon us and the Sault Ste. Marie Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) would like to inform the public of their safe driving campaign. As you may be travelling on the highway for one last family trip or taking your children to school, the OPP want to remind drivers that officers will be on the lookout for distracted drivers across the province and plan to offer zero tolerance for drivers who direct anything less than 100 percent of their attention to driving.

The OPP has investigated 5,619 collisions that involved an inattentive driver so far this year. Tragically, 31 people lost their lives in the collisions and 1,051 of the incidents left people with injuries.

Inattentive drivers continue to pose a serious threat to road users and are linked to the deaths of 738 people on OPP-patrolled roads over the past ten years.

The OPP is forewarning drivers ahead of the Labour Day Weekend that with children and other students making their way to and from school beginning next week, there will be zero tolerance for drivers who direct anything less than 100 per cent of their attention to driving.

DID YOU KNOW?

Simply holding a cell phone or other electronic device while driving is against the law.

On January 1, 2019, penalties for distracted driving will increase to:

  •  a fine of up to $1,000
  • three demerit points
  • a three-day driver’s licence suspension

Also effective January 1, 2019, novice drivers will face the same fines as regular drivers and also face:

  • a 30-day licence suspension for a first conviction
  • a 90-day licence suspension for a second conviction
  • cancellation of your licence and removal from the Graduated Licencing System for a third conviction

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.