Two major police blitzes are taking place this week. Today the OPP’s annual March Break distracted driving campaign starts. Toronto Police are kicking off their “March Break – March Safe” campaign to promote pedestrian safety. Here are the details:
O.P.P. Distracted Driving:
The OPP will be out in full force for March Break looking for distracted drivers starting today. For the fourth year in a row Distracted Driving was the Number 1 cause of driving related deaths on OPP patrolled roads in 2016. Distracted driving was responsible for 65 deaths followed by 55 from speed related, 53 seat belt related and 45 alcohol related deaths. OPP Sergeant Kerry Schmidt calls it “The Big 4” including inattentive driving, aggressive driving, impaired driving, and those people who still do not wear seat belts. Distracted and inattentive driving can result in a minimum $490 fine complete with demerit points. Everybody knows the law but people continue to make excuses and put themselves and others at risk by using their phone while driving and are distracted on the road. Don’t drink and drive, buckle up, abide by the speed limit, stay focused and make that call and text when you reach your destination.
March Break – March Safe:
It is designed to promote the education, awareness and enforcement strategies intended to heighten public awareness of pedestrian safety. While children will be celebrating the arrival of March Break, the Toronto Police Service would like to remind parents and caregivers that the safety of the children in their care must still be a top priority.
The need to be aware and alert at all times on any road, and even in the most routine circumstances, is a key component to moving through traffic safely. This applies to pedestrians, drivers, cyclists, and transit users alike. We ask those who drive to take extra care on the roads and in parking lots, especially in areas where children and seniors might be present.
Pedestrians/Transit Users’ Tips
Parents and caregivers can help reinforce some of these pedestrian safety messages to children, as well as some of our more vulnerable seniors and transit users.
- Stop, look, listen and think before entering the roadway
- Utilize crossings at controlled areas, intersections and crosswalks
- Make eye contact with drivers and other road users
- Wear reflective or bright clothing whenever possible
- Never run into the street
- Obey crossing signals and signs
Driver Safety Tips during the March Break
A driver who is aware and alert can avoid potential hazards and other distractions.
General Driving Tips:
- Scan to identify pedestrians and cyclists entering the road from curbs and driveways or when approaching intersections
- Be ready for the unexpected, avoid using distracting devices
- Leave at least 2-3 seconds following distance between you and the vehicles ahead
- In fog, rain, snow or darkness, use your full headlighting system. Remember, when conditions require you to use your windshield wipers, you should turn on your headlights as well
- To avoid backing into, or out of, a parking space, pull straight through two stalls (where available) so you are parked with the nose of your vehicle facing out
- Drive in travelled lanes only – avoid driving across or through parking spaces
- Use rear-view and outside mirrors often and frequently check your speed
During the campaign, all road users will be subject to various education and enforcement initiatives. Let’s all work together to make the rest of the season safe.
Photo Credit: American Safety Council