Published on August 30th, 2013 | by Jordan

OPP Chief Superintendent Don Bell Speaks Out on Distracted Driving

Today’s guest post is courtesy of OPP Chief Superintendent Don Bell, Highway Safety Division.

As most of us already know, distracted driving is a shift away from the task of driving. We have all seen, at one time or another, distracted drivers.

Ontario Provincial Police officers have seen drivers on a daily basis reading, texting, eating, drinking, taking care of their pets, having conversations with their children and other passengers. These are all distractions for the driver.

A vast majority of drivers over-estimate their skills behind the wheel and under-estimate the risks associated with distracted driving.

In 2012, the Ontario Provincial Police investigated 85 fatalities, in which distracted driving was an underlining factor. This number surpassed the number of alcohol related fatalities investigated for the same time period.

Unfortunately, so far this year, 34 people have died as a result of distracted driving.

We have been working diligently to make our highways the safest in the world. We will continue to focus on what we call the “Big Four” factors in deaths and injuries on our highways. The “Big Four” factors include: impaired driving, seatbelt compliance, aggressive driving and distracted driving. These four factors are a priority for the men and women of the Ontario Provincial Police. And, we all need to be aware that the true danger to public safety lies in the distraction, not the device.

Our officers are committed to reducing the number of injuries and deaths on our highways through enforcement and public awareness campaigns.

We want to drive home the message that 100 per cent of distracted driving fatalities are preventable.

Make the right decision before you get behind the wheel, don’t drive distracted.



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