Congratulations to Const. Norm Deneault of the Halton Regional Police — well, sort of. The officer hit a professional milestone, handing out his 5,000th distracted-driving ticket.
Apparently, he is the first in Ontario to do so, which is impressive, considering that these laws are relatively new.
For those who are counting, at $490 per ticket that’s over $2.4 million for Ontario’s coffers.
I think he has earned his keep.
Imagine the haul after the fine’s base increases to $1,000 for a first offense come January.
Don’t you dare call it a cash grab; I have been fortunate enough to do a ride-along with Hamilton police and have seen it with my own eyes.
WATCH: Increased fines and license suspensions for distracted driving to start in 2019
I’ll never forget being in a cruiser stopped at a light. I’m in the passenger seat, and the driver in a car to my right is on the phone, oblivious to the police car beside her.
The officer rolls down my window and yells across my chest, “Hey, put it away!”
The lady yells back, “What? I’m stopped at a light.”
Obviously, she got a ticket.
If police wrote up every ticket, there would be no time for anything else.
This is not a celebration but a reality check that distracted driving still takes more lives on Ontario roads than impaired driving.
Sadly, it won’t be long before this record is broken.