Toronto police use hearse to launch distracted driving blitz

A file photo of a Toronto police cruiser.
A file photo of a Toronto police cruiser. Global News

WATCH ABOVE: Toronto police use hearse to launch distracted driving blitz. Catherine McDonald reports. 

TORONTO – Toronto police used a hearse Tuesday morning to draw attention to the serious consequences of distracted driving as they launched a week-long campaign to curb the dangerous practice.

The initiative will highlight all dangerous activities associated with drivers who talk, text, type, dial or email using hand-held communication and entertainment devices. Tickets for distracted driving can reach $280.

Kathryn Field applauded police for using the hearse, even if only a small percentage of people stop texting as a result of the stunt.

Her 17-year-old son, Josh, was killed five years ago outside of London, Ontario when he tried to reach for his cellphone and lost control of the car he was driving.

“He didn’t realize that the car was veering across into the other lane,” she said. “He looked up, saw it was, and sharply turned the wheel overcorrecting it, across the central median. And flipped the car several times landing in a ditch [on] the other side.”
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WATCHToronto Traffic Services Cst. Clint Stibbe discusses the latest distracted driving campaign.

Now Field is trying to educate people about the dangers of distracted driving.  She goes to driver’s education classes, and high schools to try and teach young people about the dangers of distracted driving. The Josh Field Support Network has produced a video about Josh’s life, which has racked up 45,000 views on YouTube.

READ MORE: Almost all Canadians think texting and driving is ‘socially unacceptable’: poll

Officers will be using both marked and unmarked cruisers to catch distracted drivers.

Toronto police have laid over 82,000 charges for distracted driving offences since 2011.

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WATCH: Toronto cops launch distracted driving blitz

– With files from Catherine McDonald