of texting while driving can result in a fine
of $155. Also, watching an entertainment
device can result in a fine of $110. Other
forms of distracted driving can result in a
from $400 to $2,000, a possible licence
“Hey, let’s be careful out there.”
suspension of up to two years and/or a jail
Remember the Hill Street Blues TVseries?
term of not more than six months.
some mishaps she has experienced. “The
About a year ago, the O.P.P. added
For fans of the once-popular program, the
The bottom line is that you could easily
usual stuff — I have been struck by a falling
distracted driving to their list of top
send-off Sergeant Phil Esterhaus would
kill yourself or somebody else if you are not
tree branch, knocked out cold by a solid
contributing factors in fatal collisions. “The
give the troops before they headed off into
body check, fallen down and hit my head on
big 4” reasons for deadly crashes are
the concrete jungle was as familiar as the
Look at the volume and velocity of
the ice, almost took off my thumb with a
distracted, impaired and aggressive
theme music, and Pizza Man and all of the
vehicles using the major arteries in our
knife, burned myself while cooking. Once I
driving and non-compliance with seat belt
other colourful and complex characters.
got a broken nose in a schoolyard fight. But
In real life, “Be careful” is heard often as
used by travellers during peak periods, in
so far, touch wood, there has been nothing
Using the lessons learned from a study
people set out to greet a new day. It is often
themorningwhen people are rushing to get
serious,” she said.
in the United States related to distraction
uttered as frequently as “Have a nice day”
to work, and in the late afternoon and
So, before going any further, let us state
enforcement, the O.P.P. has implemented
or “Did you get dressed in the dark?” or
evening, when people are tired and eager to
that we are not condoning schoolyard
an awareness and enforcement campaign,
“Did you remember to take your
fisticuffs, kitchen accidents or any unsafe
“Phone in One Hand, Ticket in the Other.”
behaviour of any kind.
Context is important, of course. With
County Road 17 in Hawkesbury has
Accidents happen and most accidents
of distraction-related offences detected by
family and friends, we readily offer and
been the scene of two fatal accidents over
happen in the home.
O.P.P. officers increased 110 per cent
accept words of caution. However, unless
the last few weeks. The cops have had
compared to the previous year.
the perceived or real danger is clear, close
blitzes, collaring several dangerous drivers.
live in bubbles all the time. When we set out
The number of fatal collisions caused by
and immediate, we tend to underestimate
But the police cannot be everywhere all the
to greet a new day, we must be cognizant of
an inattentive driver decreased by 25 per
the validity of the caution.
the fact that our attitudes and actions can
Better safe than sorry. All of us have at
Despite the carnage, people still drive
OK, what was that sound? Do we detect
of motorists has not yet heeded the
it safe. Bumps, bruises, dislocated limbs,
was another nut bar, speeding, tailgating,
a sigh, or an eye-roll? (If you can hear your
concussions – they are all part of life.
passing on a double line. Esterhaus would
eyes roll, please consult a trained
O.P.P. officers across the province
We can’t live in a bubble. You can’t make
not have been amused.
charged 2,454 drivers with distraction-
an omelette without breaking some eggs.
Anyway, we know that, as the airlines
related offences from February 13 to 19.
Scars are badges of honour.
constantly remind us, driving can be
That is an average of 350 violations each
A few days back a friend was recalling
day, and those are the ones the cops catch.
We do not have to get all paranoid, but
“We’d prefer the number of drivers
J.S. Maintenance Nettoyage de système de ventilation ESTIMATION GRATUITE ! FREE ESTIMATE ! Résidentiel et commercial Residential and commercial 615A, ruede laCitédesJeunes,St-Lazare (Qc) J7T2A7
bad things can happen to good people.
charged each day was zero,” says Deputy
You are never a hazard because you are
Commissioner Larry Beechey, Provincial
a perfect driver.
Commander of Traffic Safety and
The problem is that the other motorists
Operational Support. “Although we have
on the road are far from perfect.
indeed had some success with our
Which brings us, again, to the necessity
campaign, this is a clear indication that we
of repeating a message from the Ontario
have a great deal of work to do yet.”
The Upper Canada District School
In the first seven weeks of 2012, nine
It is hard to believe that multi-tasking,
Board has issued debentures totalling
deaths on Ontario roads were attributed to
something we all do, has become a public
$2,122,225 to finance projects including
an inattentive driver. That total is more
the construction of the new Vankleek Hill
than the deaths caused by alcohol and
450 424-1001 • 450 458-3022
speed combined. Chief Superintendent
A sum of $1,210,500 is being financed for
Don Bell, Commander of the Highway
the acquisition of land for the newVankleek
Safety Division said, “Our efforts to reduce
Hill Collegiate Institute and for the
fatal collisions are not limited to specific
campaign dates. Our strict enforcement of
of the debenture is for the Good Places to
distraction laws are a priority every day.
Learn program improvements. The
These deaths are completely preventable
province covered the bulk of the cost of the
and we’ll continue to encourage voluntary
new $14.5 million VCI, which opened in
compliance for the right reasons.”
November, 2010, replacing facilities that
Under the Highway Traffic Act of
dated back to 1954.
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