Distracted Driving Deaths On The Rise

Photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo Inc. / Antonio_Diaz

The number of distracted driving deaths on Ontario roads has dramatically risen over the first three months of the year.

Provincial police say 11 people have been killed in collisions involving inattentive drivers so far this year. That number is also triple the four distracted driving deaths recorded over the same time in 2016.

“It comes down to the fact drivers are being very self-centered, it’s flagrant disregard for the laws of distracted driving and it needs to stop because people are clearly dying,” said Sergeant Dave Rektor. “We really want people to keep their focus on the road in front of them and nothing else, not passengers or reading maps or anything that would take eyes from the road.”

Deaths related to distracted driving continue to outpace those from speed, which is blamed for nine deaths, alcohol and drugs, which account for six, and failure to use seat belts, of which there has been three.

A distracted driving campaigned held by OPP throughout the province over the March break last week, saw 2,400 distraction-related charges laid.

“We will continue to be vigilant, this is one of the big four issues that we are dealing with this year. We will be very vigilant in terms of enforcement as it pertains to distracted driving, impaired driving, aggressive driving, and failure to wear a seat belt ,” said Rektor. “But we can’t do this alone. Passengers, don’t let your driver take your life in their hands by texting and driving and talking on the phone and driving. Tell them to stop it immediately or tell them to stop and let you out of the vehicle.”

The fine for distracted driving is $490.