Toronto police launch ‘Don’t Drive Distracted’ campaign

Feb 12, 2013 | News


COURTESY Flickr photo by Lord Jim

Toronto police have started the “Don’t Drive Distracted” campaign to enforce good driving behaviour.

The six-day campaign, which began Monday and runs until Sunday, focuses on drivers who not only use handheld devices, but engage in other activities that are not a part of the legislation.

According to police, distracted driving is any activity that does not involve operating a vehicle.

Distractions can include eating while driving, personal grooming, slowing down to look at a collision scene, as well as use of electronic devices.

Const. Hugh Smith of Toronto Police Traffic Services said this is worst time of the year on the roads.

“Our environment and conditions change so much that we need our full cognitive mindset on the road,” Smith told Humber News.

Under a provincial law that came into effect in October 2009, drivers can only use wireless devices in a hands-free manner.

Smith said officers across Toronto are stopping drivers and cautioning them on the dangers of distracted driving.

People “like to stop at intersections, and they figure that’s a good time to pick up a device,” Smith said.

Michael Kopinak, acting director of Humber’s public safety, said road safety is important, including on campus.

“Certainly if people were texting on our roads internally and would cause an issue, then that would be an issue for us,” Kopinak said.

Smith said campaign organizers hope to change people’s attitudes.

“I have yet to have someone say ‘I had to text to save somebody’s life,’” Smith said.

“Reduce the electronics. There’s enough going on in your car and around you.”