February 20, 2018 3:03 pm

Peterborough police undercover campaign nets more than 100 distracted driving offences

Peterborough police are undercover this month as part of a project tackling distracted driving.

Dan Nyznik/CHEX News

Peterborough police are expressing concerns following the early results of an undercover blitz targeting distracted drivers.

Over three days last week (Feb. 13-15), the campaign utilizing plainclothes officers in unmarked vehicles led to more than 100 charges laid for distracted driving and obstructed views offences.

READ MORE: Peterborough police go undercover to tackle distracted driving

“This is an incredibly high number of charges in such a short period of time,” stated Sgt. Peter Serjup with the Peterborough Police Service’s Traffic Services Unit.

“It is very concerning as we know that every year in Ontario distracted driving fatalities continue to surpass deaths caused by drunk driving or speeding.”

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Some officers also stood at crosswalks posing as pedestrians to observe drivers and contacted uniformed officers about any offences.

“These unique enforcement techniques are necessary to help enforce the Highway Traffic Act to ensure our roads are as safe as possible,” said Sejrup.

Police said many of the 106 charges were issued due to drivers using their mobile devices while stopping at or approaching a red light. Serjup says simply holding a device while driving is an offence — as is checking wearable devices for emails or calories burned.

READ MORE: 21K distracted driving tickets issued in 3 years in Edmonton

“The only way to call or text safely, and legally, is to pull over, put the motor vehicle in park, then pick up your device,” he said.

“Leave the phone alone, save $500, and possibly a life. Be a “Zero Hero” and commit to zero calls and texts while driving.”

The undercover campaign will continue for the remainder of this month.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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