In an effort to bust drivers trying to use their cell phones or other devices out of sight, the Toronto police have today launched a ‘zero tolerance’ crackdown on distracted drivers, CBC News reports. The week-long effort comes just weeks after new distracted driving punishments came into effect in the province.
The crackdown will include officers on TTC buses and streetcars looking for distracted drivers, who according to Toronto police officers, are increasingly trying to hide their phones in their laps while they drive. “Distracted driving continues to be a major contributor to deaths and injuries and collisions”, Toronto Mayor John Tory said last week.
— TPS Traffic Services (@TrafficServices) January 14, 2019
Plainclothes officers stationed on public transit will be especially keen on targeting those offenders, according to Toronto police Supt. Scott Baptist.
“Distracted driving is a serious community safety issue and one that can have tragic results,” Baptist told reporters at police headquarters. “This behaviour is entirely preventable and completely unnecessary.”
Officers will also be patrolling the streets in pick up trucks and vans, said Sgt. Bret Moore. “The idea is to get the officers up, off the ground as high as possible to have the best view inside a vehicle to see what drivers are doing,” he explained.
As of Jan. 1 this year, the Ministry of Transportation now has the option to suspend a driver’s licence for up to three days for their first conviction, in addition to a fine of at least $615, and up to $1,000, and three demerit points.