August 31, 2018 7:24 am
Updated: August 31, 2018 11:10 am

OPP keeping an eye out for distracted drivers this Labour Day weekend

A driver texts while at the wheel in this photo illustration of distracted driving on Wednesday, January 25, 2017 in Montreal.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
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The last long weekend of the summer is here.

Daytime highs are forecast to be in the high 20s all weekend long. Environment Canada is calling for a mix of sun and cloud on Friday and Saturday, but there is a chance of rain on Sunday and Monday.

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Whether you’re heading to the cottage or just kicking back at home, the OPP want to remind everyone to keep their eyes on the road.

When your eyes aren’t on the road, things can happen fast, officers said.

That’s why provincial police will be out in force this weekend educating the public on the dangers of distracted driving.

READ MORE: Licence suspensions, increased fines: New penalties in 2019 if convicted of distracted driving

“We want to keep the roads safe. We’re having more and more of these tragedies where people are losing their lives in motor vehicle collisions,” said Const. Ken Johnston.

“The direct cause of many of those collisions is distracted driving.”

Police will be on the lookout for motorists using their phones rather than focusing on the road, said Johnston.

“We will have officers in positions and places to try to find people who are driving distracted. If we find someone, we pull them over, and the officer deals with them. Whether it be by way of warning or by way of provincial offence notice, it’s the officer’s discretion at that time,” he said.

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It doesn’t matter if you’re on a highway or stopped at a red light, distracted driving could cost you, said Johnston.

“You’re going to start seeing people having their licenses suspended because of distracted driving. It’s a very serious issue. It’s very serious for police,” he said.

“Distracted driving is now higher on the list than impaired driving when it comes to people being killed on the road.”

Using your phone in any way is considered distracted driving, Johnston said, adding eating, reading, or typing a destination into a GPS are also dangerous when you’re behind the wheel.

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