Distracted driving a growing problem
Published Tuesday, August 19, 2014 1:04PM EDT
According to the Ontario Provincial Police, distracted driving is likely going to become an even bigger problem on our roads.
Between 2002 and 2011, the Ministry of Transportation is reporting a 39% increase in deaths resulting from inattentive and distracted driving and a 26% spike in injuries as well.
So far in 2014, 31 people have died in collision that were a result of distracted driving on OPP patrolled roads.
In 2013, distracted driving was a factor in more deaths on Ontario roads than either impaired driving or failing to wear a seat belt. According tothe OPP, there were 86 deaths last year as a result of distracted driving, which accounted for one-third of all collision related deaths in 2013.
Current collision trends showthat inattentive and distracted driving will become a more significant factor in traffic fatalities than impaired driving by 2016, according to the MTO.
Since the Ontario government passed the distracted driving law that makes it illegal to use a handheld device behind the wheel, 283, 000 charges have been laid.
Under the current law, a conviction carries a $280 fine. Ontario’s Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca plans to introduce new legislation this fall that will increase the fine and include demerit points.