For the first time since 2008, the number of drivers using cellphones has dropped in Québec from 67,866 in 2014 to 55,043 in 2015. Sûreté du Québec attributes the drop to the province’s safety campaigns and police efforts to crack down on distracted driving (via CBC News).
Of course, the penalties for motorists who get caught has also helped curb distracted driving: According to Québec’s 2015 decision, drivers can lose three to four demerit points, which can eventually lead to suspension of their drivers’ licences.
“We’re also seeing that citizens are less and less tolerant toward those who do use their cellphone while driving,” Annie Thibodeau, spokesperson for the SQ, told Radio-Canada. “And more and more people are reporting those drivers.”
The success of the previous campaigns may have prompted the SAAQ to launch a new awareness campaign, as they want to address a major issue: texting while driving. Mario Vaillaincourt, a spokesperson for the SAAQ, says this habit is still rampant and is “excessively dangerous”.
The stats aren’t too encouraging: Half of the accidents caused by distracted driving cause injuries or deaths, while one third are fatal, according to Vaillaincourt.
Image credit: CBC News