TORONTO – For the second year in a row, the Canadian Automobile Association is targeting distracted drivers by launching a four-week long safety campaign called ‘MISSING’.
The program aims to “encourage safer driving by putting distracted drivers face-to-face with the moments they could miss by not staying focused on the road.”
The CAA has also incorporated an online survey to shine a spotlight on the potential consequences of distracting driving.
Watch: CAA MISSING and Distracted Driving Video
It is illegal in Ontario for drivers to talk, text, type, dial or email using hand-held cell phones and other hand-held communications and entertainment devices. However, hands-free devices are still permitted.
Drivers caught using a hand-held device are issued a $155 ticket.
- Since the ban on hand-held devices became Ontario law, the Ontario Provincial Police have issued more than 3,300 warnings to drivers.
- Studies show that a driver using a cell phone is four times more likely to be in a crash than a driver focused on the road. Dialing and texting carry the highest degree of risk of all cell phone-related activities.
- If a driver challenges the ticket in court, a judge has the discretion to adjust the fine anywhere in the range of $60 to $500.
According to the CAA, drivers who are engaged in the following distractions are more likely to be in a crash or a crash event compared with non-distracted drivers.
- Text messaging (or texting) on a cell phone — 23 times more likely
- Talking on a cell phone — 4 to 5 times more likely
- Reading — 3 times more likely
- Applying makeup — 3 times more likely
- Reaching for a moving object — 9 times more likely
- Dialing on a hand-held device — 3 times more likely
- Talking or listening on a hand-held device — 1.3 times more likely