During a three day plain clothes detail more than 100 charges were laid relating to distracted driving and view obstructed offences.
“This is an incredibly high number of charges in such a short period of time. It is very concerning as we know that every year in Ontario distracted driving fatalities continue to surpass deaths caused by drunk driving or speeding,” says Sgt. Peter Sejrup, with the Traffic Services Unit.
The detail, held February 13, 14 and 15, involved unique plain clothes techniques to help in detecting distracted driving and view obstructed offences at various locations within the City. Officers were either in an unmarked vehicle, or posing as pedestrians walking on the sidewalks and crossing at intersections, making observations and calling out offences to waiting uniform officers.
During this short time period, 106 charges were laid in relation to these offences, with a significant number of them occurring while drivers were stopped at, or approaching, a red light.
Sgt. Sejrup reminds drivers that, “simply holding the device while driving a motor vehicle is an offence. The only way to call or text safely, and legally, is to pull over, put the motor vehicle in park, then pick up your device,”
Being stopped at a red light or a stop sign does not provide a legal opportunity to text, call or program your GPS. Sgt. Sejrup notes that wearable devices are also included and cautions motorists not to check their calories burned, or read/send an email while driving.
“These unique enforcement techniques are necessary to help enforce the Highway Traffic Act to ensure our roads are as safe as possible,” says Sgt. Sejrup.
“Leave the phone alone, save $500, and possibly a life. Be a “Zero Hero” and commit to zero calls and texts while driving.”
This directed patrol campaign continues for the month of February, along with the other regular duties and enforcement initiatives.