submitted by Jill Sturdy, Municipality of NG
The North Grenville Police Services Board is urging drivers to put down their devices and avoid other distractions while driving.
“The reality is distracted driving is one of the most serious road safety issues on Ontario roadways. It is the number one killer on the roads, causing more deaths than impaired driving and speeding,” highlighted Mayor Nancy Peckford.
It is estimated that 8 in 10 accidents are caused by distraction.
Driving while distracted is dangerous because it takes the driver’s eyes and attention off the road and compromises the safety of the driver, passengers, and other people on the roads, including other drivers, cyclists and pedestrians.
Distracted driving can include talking on a phone, texting, reading, using a GPS, watching videos, eating or drinking, smoking, personal grooming, or even adjusting the radio.
In Ontario, it is illegal to use a phone or other hand-held device while driving – including while stopped at a traffic light, stop sign or when stopped in traffic for any reason.
Fines for distracted driving in Ontario are among the highest in Canada. Penalties for a first conviction can include a fine up to $1,000, three demerit points and a license suspension.
“The good news is distracted driving is preventable. Be prepared for active driving – put your phone away before you get behind the wheel and be alert,” added Deputy Mayor John Barclay and Chair of the North Grenville Police Services Board.
Led by the North Grenville Police Services Board, the Road Safety public awareness campaign aims to promote safe driving behaviours and make roads in North Grenville safer for all users.
For more information on the campaign visit www.northgrenville.ca/roadsafety.
Tips to Avoid Distractions while Driving:
- Put your phone away: Before you drive, switch your phone to silent mode and put it out of reach. Do not text, use apps or read emails. Let calls go to voicemail or have a passenger respond for you.
- Review your route: Set the GPS and review all maps and directions.
- Prepare your kids and yourself: Make sure children have everything they need before you go – reading materials, toys, food and drink. And make sure you’re ready, too – including having all your personal grooming done before you get behind the wheel.
- Drive actively: Avoid eating or drinking and keep two hands on the wheel.
- Pull over: If you must answer your phone, pull over to a safe location or use a Bluetooth device.