Many driv­ers still aren’t get­ting the mes­sage

The Glengarry News - - News - News The News for

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.

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