By Jordan Biordi
The OPP is looking to tighten policies on distracted driving as they get ready to launch their Distracted Driving Campaign on Saturday.
According to the OPP news release, driver inattention has surpassed impaired driving for the seventh consecutive year as the causal factor in fatal collisions; already 12 of this years 51 fatal collisions have been related to inattentive driving.
“What we’ve been finding is the number of people dying as a result of distracted driving is really frightening,” said OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt, who had been spearheading the campaign.
“More people are dying due to inattention than there are due to alcohol-related fatalities,” Schmidt said.
The penalty for distracted driving is $280, however there are additional penalties that are being proposed through legislation that would increase the fine and add demerit points to distracted driving.
He also said the OPP can not charge their way into compliance.
“We really need people to understand the consequences that are attached to distracted driving,” he said. “People need to realize that they can be part of the solution, and make it socially unacceptable.”
While inattentive driving may be surpassing impaired driving fatalities, Mothers Against Drunk Driving want to remind the public that it’s still a very real problem.
“Any legislation that will protect drivers, obviously it will be supported, but we’re still going to focus on impaired driving,” said Carolyn Swinson, director of MADD’s Toronto chapter.
Swinson said there’s still a long way to go with solving the problem of impaired driving, and they don’t have the resources to take on a broader range of driving-related problems.
For more information about the inattentive driving legislation, click here or check out the video below.