Fewer cars on the roads this week with many away on March Break vacations but there will no fewer police patrolling the roads. In fact, Provincial Police have launched a week-long distracted driving campaign. There were 83 roads deaths last year attributed to inattentiveness at the wheel – more than any other cause for the fifth year in a row. Speed resulted in 75 deaths, non-use of seatbelts cited in 49 deaths, 46 were attributed do drug or alcohol impairment. Texting and talking are not the only issues when it comes to distracted driving. Manual dialling or programming of phones and GPS units are also problems. Convictions can bring a fine of between $400 and $1000, as well as three demerit points.
What can you do to help?
- Be mindful that distracted driving poses a significant threat to the well-being of your family and friends;
- Start conversations about distracted driving with your family, your friends, your colleagues and shed the negative light on it that it deserves;
- If you are in a vehicle being driven by someone who is driving while distracted, always speak up. Be firm and say: “Enough! Too many people are dying because of distracted driving. It needs to stop and you need to stop”. Make this your new attitude every day.
- If you see someone driving in a dangerous manner while driving distracted, call 9-1-1 to report them.
- Be self-disciplined every time you get behind the wheel; do not allow yourself to be distracted in any way while you are driving.