Distracted drivers can be as dangerous as impaired drivers, Toronto police said Monday, February 19, 2018, at the start of a week-long safety campaign to reduce car accidents from inattention.
On average, one person is injured in a distracted driving accident every half hour in Ontario.
Police launched the “That Text or Call Could End It All” campaign to let drivers know that it’s risky to talk, text, type, dial and email with hand-held devices, such as cell phones, while behind the wheel.
Const. Clint Stibbe, a spokesperson for Toronto police’s traffic services, says about 120,000 tickets have been issued for distracted driving-related offenses in the city since 2010, the year that legislation prohibiting the activity took effect in Ontario.
Stibbe said the campaign aims to educate drivers on the dangers of distracted driving through education and enforcement.
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Police define distracted driving as any action by a driver that takes the focus away from the safe operation of a vehicle. It includes, but is not limited to, the use of hand-held communication and entertainment devices.
According to 2016 collision data, a total of 70,004 crashes were reported to Toronto police that year, 7,435 of which involved at least one inattentive driver.
Of the total number of crashes, eight were fatal. Police say 2,642 crashes resulted in some injuries while 4,785 damaged property only.
“Officers will focus their attention on drivers who choose to drive while distracted,” police said in a news release.
As a driver on our Ontario roads, help keep our citizens safe by pledging not to drive distracted.
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