Yesterday’s Targeted Traffic Enforcement – Seven drivers face $490 fines
Yesterday, over a three-hour period all over the city of North Bay, an officer with the North Bay Police Service’s Traffic Unit conducted a targeted traffic enforcement, specifically targeting drivers for driving distracted.
The officer was in uniform driving a North Bay Police Service unmarked vehicle. When he observed drivers driving while talking or texting on mobile phones, he followed them until they reached their stop, where they were all issued $490 (includes Victim Fine Surcharge and court costs) tickets for distracted driving.
“It is shocking to see the number of drivers who are aware that others see them driving while on their phones and yet they continue to do it anyway,” said Sgt. Paul Trahan, North Bay Police Service. “Some drove through construction zones, not aware that construction was taking place. Some were driving with children in their vehicles. Some had passengers with them that could have used the phones on their behalf. Our advice to all drivers is to put down the phone or conceal it in the glove compartment so that you’re not tempted to use it. When you aren’t focused on the road, things can happen fast. There is no call or text that is that important while driving. You are risking your life and the lives of others by doing so.”
What exactly is the distracted driving law?
In Ontario, it’s against the law to:
- operate handheld communication and electronic entertainment devices while you’re driving; and
- view display screens unrelated to your driving.
What about hands-free devices?
|ype of device||Can I use it?|
A cell phone with an earpiece, headset or Bluetooth device using voice-activated dialing.
Yes, only to activate or deactivate a “hands-free” function, and only if the device is mounted or secured. Actions like dialing or scrolling through contacts are not allowed.
A GPS screen
Yes, provided the GPS is mounted on the dashboard or windshield and that all information is inputted before you start driving.
A portable media player plugged into the vehicle’s sound system
|Yes, but you must activate the playlist before driving.|
|Display screens that are built into the vehicle and used for safety reasons (such as cameras)||Yes|
Can I use my handheld device when I’m stopped at a stop light or stop sign?
No, unless you’re calling 911 in an emergency situation. It is important to remember that collisions do not just occur while a vehicle is in motion. Drivers stopped at lights and using mobile phones or other devices are often not paying attention to the light cycle or to the actions of other road users, including pedestrians and cyclists, and they frequently miss advance turn signals or green lights.
Penalties for distracted driving
Visit https://www.ontario.ca/page/distracted-driving for more information on distracted driving.