Many drivers still aren’t getting the message
BY SCOTT CARMICHAEL
Staff Ontario Provincial Police officers across the East Region charged 361 motorists during the recentlycompleted March Break distracted driving campaign – an alarming 119 per cent more than the 2016 campaign total.
“We just want to remind the public that every time you choose to pick up your hand-held device and utilize it while you’re operating a motor vehicle, you’re putting yourself and everybody else around you at imminent risk,” A/ Sgt. Angie Atkinson, media relations officer at OPP East Region headquarters in Smiths Falls, told last week, adding that it’s not only youthful motorists who are getting pinched.
“When we look at mature drivers, sometimes they see themselves as being better drivers than perhaps a younger person, but no matter what your age or experience is...We’re telling people to put their phones in the glove box, put them away, turn the ringer off, and take that temptation away,” she said.
Of the 361 motorists charged across the East Region – which covers a vast geographic area of 43,000 square kilometres from Belleville/Quinte West to the Quebec border and north to Algonquin Park – 13 (or 3.6 per cent) were in Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry.
Specific numbers were not available Glengarry, Dundas or Stormont counties.
The OPP laid more than 2,400 distracted drivingrelated charges across the province during the March 13 to 19 crackdown.