Thursday, 4 September 2014

Distracted driving stats – driving fines

We've just had another Labour Day long weekend. Where did the summer go?
We often take daycations, and we headed off to the artisan show in Maberly on the long weekend. The traffic was heavy. The OPP, who patrol our roads, have horrific stats to share.

Another tool to fight distracted driving

  • Within their jurisdiction, the OPP says that 39 people have died so far this year in distracted driver accidents. 
  • The unmarked cars are being deployed on the heels of a survey of licenced Ontario students, in which almost 50 per cent of Grade 12 students admitted to texting while driving. 
  • As of June 30, 2014, the OPP had laid over 10,000 charges to Ontario motorists who were caught driving while distracted.
The worst thing, the one that scares me, are people who don't bother to slow down when someone in front of them is making a turn. If you are following, it doesn't give the driver time to see brake lights, and slow down. If you are in oncoming traffic, it's a bit of a shock to see someone coming straight at you! This 500m stretch of road is terrible for this.

All the local drivers/commuters know it's a place to pass. I can hear them gunning their engines as they prepare to speed by those who choose to follow the speed limit. It's terribly unsettling, as I still have some panic attacks from loud noises! It's a burden I bear; all part of my depression symptoms. I was glad hubby was driving.

Next incident

From the passenger seat I could see a police car, with flashing lights, up ahead. The Ontario law says that if you see a police car pulled over, you must get into the left lane, if possible. We'd just been passed by a speedy, white car who had to be doing over 100km/hr (the speed limit is 80km/hour here), and if the OPP was able to do so, they would have gotten a ticket.

Travelling along highway #7, a nice straight stretch, with newly paved and painted roads, people pass us at great speeds. This car had just passed us, but couldn't see the OPP car and flashing lights in front. S/he suddenly braked upon seeing the OPP car!

Then there are the distracting drivers...

I have seen many drivers on phones. I was down on our front lawn and saw a trucker steering with his knees, while eating his lunch with two hands. It's scary out there!
This guy in the white care was distracting, perhaps distracted by the blonde in his car.

This kid, and his passenger, playing with her long hair, chucked out a paper bag, then a cola drink bottle (liquid flying), then another paper bag. He had a muffler issue and couldn't quite get the old car up to a good speed. I guess he had to show off by showing a lack of respect for the environment.

dorky drivers from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

This guy was driving distracted, taking Smartphone photos down at Rideau Ferry on the jetski, but I don't think the law applies on the water!
Taking photos, then uploading!

Ontario penalties

Welcome back to school everyone! We hope students, teachers (and yes, even parents) enjoy their return to our learning institutions. We want to stress to everyone to be careful and extra cautious around the roadways. We need to adjust our timing for the increase in traffic and presence of school buses. Think of leaving earlier so you don't put yourself in a situation where you will be late and possibly make some mistakes on the road. Here are some reminders:
- failing to yield to a school bus (both directions) is a $490 fine and 6 demerit points
- failing to obey a school crossing stop sign is a $180 fine ($365 in a community safety zone) and 3 demerit points
- speeding fines double in community safety zones where some schools can be found. 
  • Demerit points start at 16 km/h over the limit. 
  • 3 demerit points from 16-29 km/h over, 
  • 4 points from 30-49 km/h over
  • 6 points for 50+ km/h over the limit.

Let's make this the safest school year yet for everyone! Drive, cycle and walk with care.


Red said...

Why can't we all just be normal and drive the way we are supposed to and not speed like me?

William Kendall said...

There are drunk boating laws on the book, if I recall... distracted operation of a jet ski by using a smart phone does as much damage as when it causes a car accident.