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Crackdown on distracted driving leads to 85 tickets

Thursday, April 03, 2014   by: SooToday.com Staff

NEWS RELEASE

SAULT STE MARIE
POLICE SERVICE

*************************
As part of the current business plan one of the goals of the Sault Ste. Marie Police Service is to increase road safety awareness.

During the month of March officers from Patrol Services and Traffic Services partnered together for a month long traffic enforcement initiative.

In addition officers from the Ontario Provincial Police and the Sault Ste. Marie Police Service also worked together on the roads.   

This monthly strategy created a partnership of enforcement and education.

In March a total of 85 drivers were issued tickets related to distracted driving. 

During this month the fine for distracted driving increased from $155 to $280 dollars. 

Even though the monthly initiative is over this does not mean our Service will not be issuing tickets for distracted driving.

The dangers of distracted driving are real and the evidence speaks for itself; drivers who use cell phones are four times more likely to be in a collision than a driver who is focused on the road.

Cell phones and other wireless communication and entertainment devices are a significant visual and cognitive distraction for drivers, with average “eyes off the road” times that increase the risk of collision considerably.

At highway speed, a driver sending a simple text message travels the length of a football field without looking at the road.

Don’t let a text message end your life or that of someone else.

*************************

Comments
48
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of SooToday.com. If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
old-cat33 4/3/2014 3:40:59 PM Report

A nice pair of legs in blue jean cut offs during the summer months is more distracting!!...LOL.
Joe B 4/3/2014 3:42:43 PM Report

Yesterday, on Third Line near Peoples Road I seen a School Bus Driver using a hand held device when driving his school bus!
Brietsy 4/3/2014 3:44:07 PM Report

I have seen city bus drivers doing the same.
Entity 4/3/2014 3:46:13 PM Report

Cash grab.
arch44 4/3/2014 3:57:10 PM Report

big time cash grab...ooh gotta go...lights green
thumbs4208 4/3/2014 3:59:42 PM Report

any distracted drivers call em in. Cash grab or not. Call that scholl bus in. I was trveling down Bruce and a school bus ran the red - yep called it in.
Does that include people eating while driving - you know wh you are lol
Pakadeva 4/3/2014 4:18:18 PM Report

I totally agree with these tickets being issued. I have many times been on my way to work, or wherever & waiting after the light turns green & the person ahead of me is still on the phone, so, I start honking my horn & a finger or annoyed look is pointed in my direction! I can top that with, turning from second line LEFT towards hospital & a car is coming through the red light while on the phone & I have a turn arrow! Lay on the horn again to another annoyed person who in both cases were 100% wrong! Get a life people, you don't need to be in such close connection to ANYONE that you can't manage to cross town without breaking laws by texting or being on the phone. Addiction at it's worst in my opinion.
tired of all the lies 4/3/2014 4:19:16 PM Report

At almost every traffic light I pull up to the car next to me is texting. I can guarantee you that I could catch that many people in an hour at the corner of Great Northern Rd and Second Line.
Scared to let my kids walk on the side of the street anymore!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
right wing 4/3/2014 4:23:23 PM Report

I'd kinda like to see that...a car texting.
blueink 4/3/2014 4:30:43 PM Report

Speaking of driver distractions - what about the drivers who drive with their pets on their laps?
MonsterLincolin 4/3/2014 4:31:47 PM Report

Who the hell in there right state of mind would travel the legth of a football field without looking at the road, no matter what your doing. They would have to be in the middle of a seizure or something. It is possible to do it , without being dangerous about it. No different then glancing down at the cars instruments or controls. I see not to many can or do be safe about it anytime i seen people doing it.
just the two of us 4/3/2014 4:32:44 PM Report

it takes all of 15 minutes to travel the length of the sault, you can't be in that much of a hurry to get anywhere. the kid on the E-bike is not any better. he almost ran into the side of my truck on lower McNabb last summer. I could have killed him but he gave me the finger. someone should spank the little brat.
Mr. Poster 4/3/2014 4:33:17 PM Report

Those drivers with LAP DOGS should be ticketed too. TRYING TO DRIVE WITH A DOG jumping around is totally unsafe.
justsomeguy 4/3/2014 4:39:18 PM Report

I've seen countless city employees, PUC and police officers driving while talking on a cell phone being help to one ear.

Please lead by example.
asp 4/3/2014 4:39:38 PM Report

Great Job City Police get them !!! You see them all the time and the worse is company personal driving company truck.
MonsterLincolin 4/3/2014 4:43:15 PM Report

Distracted driving tickets you would think are not just issued to just hand held electronic device use. They should be issued for a number of reasons . Eating,aniamls on your lap, drinking your coffee. I think any one weaving on the road cause there trying to do something, well driving is showing signs of distraction. Thus should be ticketed and or warned accordingly.
I'm In 4/3/2014 5:09:44 PM Report

Police and bus drivers use there two way radios as part of their employment which they are trained for, they are communicating with their dispatch has nothing to do with their personal life
Newsjunkie 4/3/2014 5:21:23 PM Report

... and you don't have to take your eyes of the road to talk into a two way radio! Texting requires your eyes to NOT be on the road.
habber 4/3/2014 5:26:18 PM Report

why would they stop this crackdown. duh keep it going catch all the idiots I saw at least 6 texting in 20 minutes
lucky10 4/3/2014 5:26:54 PM Report

i'm not one to wear a bluetooth device on my ear all the time .. i spend more time with my eyes off the road just looking for the dam thing than i would just answering the phone.. i know find a place for it so it is easy to find ..said it before anyone else .. i'm just not that smart
Norm 4/3/2014 5:47:44 PM Report

OldCat, especially if you're texting her.lol
Alfie 4/3/2014 5:48:37 PM Report

So if cell phones are the problem, how do you explain the driving culture and lack of consideration that has been prevalent in this city for decades? Pedestrians and cyclists are rarely respected with sufficient safe space. When traffic lights turn green, many people just sit and stare rather than go. Green turn arrow comes on and only 3 cars get through while an entire convoy behind them are made to wait for the next light. Pretty pathetic when the International Bridge Authority has to post signs about "being courteous and to close the gap." And God forbid you honk your horn to "wake" someone up, then they'll make it a point to drive even slower while mouthing obscenities at you. But hey...we are the "friendliest city in Algoma! don't forget.
Zing 4/3/2014 5:49:41 PM Report

Take away their cars and license for 7 days...take away their phone!
Lone24 4/3/2014 5:59:58 PM Report

@habber
I totally agree with you 100%.
@ blueink and Mr.Poster,don't worry about the pets being on the lap that will be the next thing people will be getting charged for. Right now the statistics show that texting and talking on a cell phone while driving causes more traffic accidents than drinking does. There are a lot more people texting and driving than there is people with pets on their laps.
justsomeguy 4/3/2014 6:03:29 PM Report

@I'm in - I know the difference between a CB radio & a cell phone.

A cell phone is wireless. A CB is wired.

Like it was stated, I see city employees, PUC & police officers talking on cell phones, smiling & laughing while they are driving.

Why are they exempt from the law?

Lead by example. How do you expect citizens to follow the law when they are breaking it?
Lone24 4/3/2014 6:03:57 PM Report

@Zing
That's a great idea, maybe then these idiots will learn. The penalty now is not stiff enough.
Dead End Kid 4/3/2014 6:04:34 PM Report

Pull over if you have to talk on your phone or wait until you get to where you are going. Your lives can't be that important that you can't wait a few minutes to speak to someone.
The Enigma 4/3/2014 6:13:28 PM Report

@justsomeguy

Police and other emergency service workers are exempt from the law while in the performance of their duties. Not PUC crews, etc but police, fire and paramedics are exempt.
book-end 4/3/2014 6:38:48 PM Report

I had a school bus turn on its flashing lights yesterday, no stop sign out, so I stopped. The darn bus drove rite past me.
B Boy 4/3/2014 6:56:26 PM Report

@theenigma - actually no, that's incorrect. Under the PSA there are SOME exceptions such as those under the HTA. Eg. speeding, red lights, lane changes, etc.

Distracted driving is an exemption while performing duties provided it's for police communication equipment out of duty necessity.

Personal cell phones are NOT exempt in Ontario during regular operation. I've seen police just driving normally, stopping at lights, driving down residential streets laughing during a cell phone conversation. This is not legal. IF their issued radio malfunctioned and they had to call for assistance, then that would be legal. That is not what I've seen.

ThinkAgain 4/3/2014 7:03:54 PM Report

I haven't seen a cop in months
Bad Dawg 4/3/2014 7:52:56 PM Report

how many cops are there 40?? 50?? and they only got 85 idiots.... My passenger could get 85 pics of bozo's driving distracted in a week!! You cops don't deserve a "pat on the back" but how about a kick in the arse??
Sam C 4/3/2014 8:03:31 PM Report

It is NOT a "cash grab." The only person who will have to fork over any cash are those who refuse to OBEY THE LAW.

I don't care whether it's distracted driving, speeding, or running red lights, if you get caught then you should get dinged for it, big time.

Had a woman behind me tonight on Wellington W -- I was waiting just before the tracks, and she came flying up behind me, stopped, and stared down into her lap. The light changed and I was over the tracks and nearly at John Street before she looked up and realized she should be moving.

Every day I see people driving and talking, or texting. The numbers speak for themselves -- you are 25% more likely to be involved in a collision when texting/talking and driving.

HANG UP AND DRIVE.
Alystr 4/3/2014 8:55:15 PM Report

Nothing Better than a good Bluetooth car stereo. Listen through your speakers at any volume and chat with mic placed wherever you want it. Cheap and effective.
D.Hasselhoff 4/4/2014 12:23:08 AM Report

Oh look, it's the perfect drivers group of sault ste Marie meeting again on soo today! All you ppl that continuously come on here and preach the proper driving skills are beyond irritating. If it's not winter tires, cell phones, bitching about not plowing your road every two minutes or critiquing an accident, it's something else that you find to bitch about. I wish you knew how stupid you all sound. Maybe a well done to the police involved for taking action rather than complaining about how many they actually got and telling everyone who doesn't give two sh@ts what you think. Become a cop if your such a pro.
Bad Dawg 4/4/2014 1:03:59 AM Report

Like on you tube another drunken episode of hasselhoff bitching about bitchers..... isn't some one drowning?? I am a near perfect driver (2 speeding tickets in almost 20 yrs). I am always honking at those damn yappers..... 85 tickets in a month!! Your an idiot if you think they did a good job.... pitiful more like it.
mikey2007 4/4/2014 1:46:10 AM Report

Police are exempt.
Ohwow 4/4/2014 4:44:32 AM Report

Perhaps everybody that allegedly sees people texting and talking on their cell phones, should maybe mind their own business and pay attention to what's ahead of them...
Sounds like many of you are distracted drivers just by staring at others...
Mind your business. It is the job of the police to catch these people.
justsomeguy 4/4/2014 6:47:47 AM Report

@minkey2007 - yes and no.

Police are never fully exempt, only situationally exempt.

Here's an example:
Police are exempt from having to wear seat belts yet in that crash that killed Cst Doucette, his partner was charged for not wearing one.
Why? At the time they were driving and the situation didn't call for him to not wear one. He wasn't situationally exempt.

So a cop driving down McNabb, responding to a call, his radio fails is exempt and can use his cell phone.
A cop driving down McNabb whose spouse calls his cell is NOT exempt. If he gets in an accident then he can be charged.

A cop goes through a red light responding to a call - exempt
A cop drives through a red light not on a call just because he doesn' t want to stop - not exempt.

@ohwow - good point. Just like those drunk drivers, ignore it and it'll go away. That's partly why this city has so many problems now.
Did you know many cities even have a specific # to cal the police & report distracted drivers just like drunk drivers? Similar to *33. People on buses, passengers & pedestrians can call or people with bluetooth.

Just because you don't seem to take it seriously doesn't mean it's a serious problem. Do you condone drunk driving? It's nearly the same thing - except many cars have hands-free devices built in, so maybe you can consider distracted driving worse in some regards.
David Poluck 4/4/2014 6:52:11 AM Report

Dave (Sam) In the states if witnessing a vehicular incident you can call in to report and the police will follow it up. The state police call it "be on the lookout"
I'm wondering if something similar would work here.
If a person was to record the license and the time a report to the police for follow up they can see when investigating by the cell phone history records if the phone was being used at the times reported by a witness.




justsomeguy 4/4/2014 7:16:04 AM Report

@David Poluck - The only reason it wouldn't work is if people are unwilling or at too lazy to call.
There are signs around town posted by the police asking drivers to report drunk drivers.

Remember that at one time drunk driving wasn't taken all that seriously. Many people, including families, had to die before it was.

Why should we wait for many more people to die because of some self-centred individual who just has to text a friend some gossip? Statistics from insurance companies indicate probabilities from 30% to 80% chances of causing accidents because of distracted driving.
Moonshiner 4/4/2014 8:05:06 AM Report

Make cellphone manufactures build a motion sensor into the phone that disables the screen but lets Bluetooth continue to function...85 charges is 23000.00 !
habsfan 4/4/2014 8:19:00 AM Report

85 tickets in thirty days. thats 3 per 24 hrs. Come on. I could do that in my sleep. You could easily lay 85 per day if they felt like working. Next time they want a raise or a new car let it come from tickets written not tax payers money.
Moonshiner 4/4/2014 8:41:58 AM Report

here is a good one....instead of photoradar have a photophone camera setup!
rotciv 4/4/2014 9:07:07 AM Report

So Police and emergency people can text and dial phones better than others .They are humans to and they can make the same errors . They have all the communications anyone needs in their vehicles . I wonder how they did it before cell phones. A good example of a police officer talking on a cell is a collision at Boundry road a couple of years a go that involved a cop talking on his cell in his personal vehicle , he caused the accident . So if he was so good at talking on his cell as a cop it concerns me that he would be any better while in a cruiser .maybe he was dialing 1-800-moron .Or may be they get a defensive talking and texting course to make them better at it . BAN ALL USE OF CELL PHONES EVEN THOSE THAT ARE EXEMPT.
barben13 4/4/2014 9:34:21 AM Report

Oh, listen to hasselhoff, not everyone has a car that drives itself like you, get a life jack. And Ohwow, people should mind their own business, your another idiot, it is their business, are they not driving these roads with their families in their cars, avoiding idiots like yourself to get where they are going safely. Wish you texters would run a light when a tranny or Hummer is coming through the intersection. See how important that LOL was to text. You can't wait 5 minutes to text or call whoever to try and make our city roads that much safer. The only bit@hes on here are boys or girls like yourselves.
D.Hasselhoff 4/4/2014 11:09:12 PM Report

Cool down, your just mad no one sends you a text in the first place. I missed the point of my car driving itself. That made nonsense whatsoever. Wise joke about my handle also. It's an inside joke and your attempt at humor failed miserably. The point I'm trying to make is how perfect all you drivers pretend to be. I make an honest effort to stay off my phone while driving since it's become a issue (that I agree with), but I have dialed a number or changed the song on my iphone at a red light so I can't say I'm perfect and criticize the world like you folk. Btw, your couple tickets you got are a couple more than me. As stated before, if you think you can do it better, then walk away from your superhero keyboard and apply to become a cop. Then you can hold driving seminars that no one will pay attention to.
D.Hasselhoff 4/4/2014 11:13:42 PM Report

Class act wishing someone get into an accident also. Shows what type of person you are.
Comments
48
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of SooToday.com. If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
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