Drunk driving used to be the number one killer on Ontario roads–but now, new numbers from the OPP show twice as many people have been killed on provincial roadways this year as a result of distracted driving.
As the Labour Day long weekend approaches, Peterborough OPP are launching a safety blitz- targeting the deadly behind-the-wheel behavior.
Lindsay Biscaia reports.
As of mid-August, OPP have investigated 38 deaths involving “inattentive” drivers on ontario roads.
that’s compared to 19 deaths involving an impaired driver.
constable Jason Folz says this is the first time ever the number of distracted-related driving deaths has surpassed impaired driving deaths.
“It certainly isn’t as taboo as impaired driving now has become, and people just think ‘I’m at the traffic light, I can just, you know, check that text or update my instagram feed’ or whatever they’re doing.”
Folz says the O-P-P will be launching its Distracted Driving Campaign over the Labour Day long weekend.
But it seems like people around Peterborough already know texting and driving might just be the biggest killer on the road..
“I think distracted driving is a big one. Yeah, I think it’s pretty close up there though with drinking and driving too.”
“I think they’ve done a good job with impaired drivers. Next would be the text driving maybe, the distracted driving.”
“Distracted driving. Definitely. I think it in compasses a lot of things. I mean it could be your coffee, it could be your cell phone, it could be anything really.”
But actually – distracted driving and careless driving are two different things.
Folz says any hand held communication device, like a phone or a GPS, can result in a distracted driving fine.
“Anything that takes your attention away from active driving can be considered careless driving. Which is, you know, on par with the distracted driving and takes your attention away from what you’re supposed to be doing.”
Folz says drivers should be waiting until they’re safely off the road before checking that text message.
Not only are you saving yourself 500 dollars and 3 demerit points.. but you could also be saving a life- MAYBE EVEN YOUR OWN.