It’s Distracted Driving Awareness Month


The Sault Ste. Marie Police Service recognizes March as Distracted Driving Awareness Month. This initiative seeks to educate the public on the dangers of distracted driving and to encourage drivers to keep their attention on the road.

Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of collisions, injuries, and deaths on Canada’s roads. It involves any activity that diverts a person’s attention away from driving, including texting, talking on the phone or to passengers, eating or drinking, and using the entertainment or navigation system.

“Distracted driving endangers not only those behind the wheel but everyone on the road. The GPS can be set before you put your car in drive. The text message can wait. Collisions are preventable,” says Joe Poderys, Traffic Sergeant at the Sault Ste. Marie Police Service.

Penalties for Distracted Driving in Ontario

Ontario has strict laws and penalties for distracted driving. It’s against the law to use hand-held communication, e.g. your phone, and electronic entertainment devices, e.g. DVD player, e-reader, while driving. In fact, simply holding a phone or other device while driving is against the law.

Although actions such as eating, drinking, grooming, smoking, reading and reaching for objects are not part of Ontario’s distracted driving law, you can still be charged with careless or dangerous driving.

Drivers convicted of distracted driving will face fines, demerit points, and/or suspensions. Careless driving or dangerous driving convictions may include jail time.

Safety Tips to Avoid Distracted Driving

  • Set your playlist, podcast, safety features, climate control, etc. before you drive
  • Set the GPS and review directions before driving
  • Ensure your Bluetooth is properly connected before departure
  • Allow plenty of travel time
  • Put your device out of reach and make use of device features like driving focus or driving mode
  • Stow and secure loose objects
  • Secure pets
  • Prepare children with everything they need before driving
  • Do not text, use apps, or check social media
  • Do your hair and/or makeup before you leave or when you park at your destination
  • Always keep two hands on the wheel
  • Avoid eating and drinking while driving
  • Don’t get distracted by big billboards, storefronts or activities happening alongside the road.
  • Keep your eyes on the road
  • Take breaks if you’re fatigued, emotional, or your mind is wandering

One thought on “It’s Distracted Driving Awareness Month

  1. Half of the drivers around these parts middle names should have been “Distracted” as they are permanently in this dangerous state of mind and paying attention to everything except for their driving.

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