According to the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario, if a driver takes their eyes off the road for more than two seconds, their crash risk doubles.
It’s for this reason that Kingston: Partners for a Safe Community (KPSC) once again holding their spring Distracted Driving Checkpoints on Friday, Jun. 7, 2019. KPSC will be holding two ‘Checkpoints’ where volunteers will be monitoring Kingston motorist for distracted driving.
“Distractions pull the drivers attention away from the road, increasing the likelihood of a collision, whether they are texting, eating, or putting on make-up while driving. If you are distracted while driving you are not only risking your own life, but the lives of others as well,” KPSC said in a press release on Thursday, Jun. 6, 2019.
The KPSC project coordinator and volunteers will be standing at the intersection of Bath Road and Sir John A. Macdonald Boulevard from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. for the first checkpoint. The group will then move to their second checkpoint at the corner of Fort Henry Drive and Highway from 2 to 3 p.m.
KPSC, a not-for-profit, charitable organization that provides activities and programs in the community aimed at reducing injuries and preventable deaths, as well as promoting safety. The organization will celebrate its 22 anniversary later this month, and has been carrying out Distracted Driving Checkpoints since its inception. In doing so, KPSC hopes to raise awareness of the dangers of distracted driving and make local roads safer.
Fast facts on distracted driving according to the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario
- In Ontario, it is illegal for drivers to talk, text, type, or dial using a handheld cellphone, or use other handheld communication and/or entertainment devices.
- At highway speeds, a driver sending a simple text message travels the length of a football field without looking at the road
- Drivers who use hand-held devices are four times more likely to be in a collision than drivers who are focused on the road
- if you endanger others because of any distraction, not just using hand-held devices, but anything that takes your focus off the road, you can be charged with careless driving
Those convicted of distracted driving are liable to face progressive consequences
- a fine of $615, if settled out of court (includes a victim surcharge and the court fee), three demerit points, and a three day suspension
- a fine of up to $1,000 if you decide to fight the ticket in court and lose, as well as three demerit points, and a three day suspension
- a fine of $615, if settled out of court (includes a victim surcharge and the court fee), six demerit points, and a seven day suspension
- a fine of up to $2,000 if you decide to fight the ticket in court and lose, as well as six demerit points, and a seven day suspension
Third and any further conviction(s):
- a fine of $615, if settled out of court (includes a victim surcharge and the court fee), six demerit points, and a 30 day suspension
- a fine of up to $3,000 if you decide to fight the ticket in court and lose, as well as six demerit points, and a 30 day suspension
At both checkpoints, KPSC will collect data on the number of vehicles that drive by, as well as recording any observations of distracted drivers. Following the completion of both checkpoints, those with KPSC will tabulate their data and compare with last year’s data. No drivers observed during the checkpoints will be ticketed or charged.
Kingstonist will provide the updated data after KPSC executes these checkpoints.