Toronto police are eyeing distracted drivers and motorists who continue to impede rush hour routes during a week-long traffic enforcement blitz that begins on Monday.
The new minimum penalty in Ontario for distracted driving is a $615 fine for a first offence.
Police said officers will hit the streets looking for motorists using their cellphones while driving. Some officers will also be riding on streetcars and buses to catch drivers in the act.
“We’re seeing a trend now where we see people with their heads down all the time looking into their laps, thinking that they are fooling people, masking the effect that they are using their handheld devices,” Sgt. Brett Moore said.
The rush hour route enforcement campaign will target drivers who block streets in the downtown core.
Police said vehicles that have been left unoccupied in a curb lane with be tagged and towed. Any motorist found stopped in a “No Stopping” zone will also be fined $150.
Police said they have issued over 6,000 tickets and towed more than 1,000 vehicles during lane-blocking blitzes in the last four years.
“Officers are out every day from our parking enforcement, tagging and towing, but sometimes we need that extra energy, that reminder that these behaviours cause tremendous backlog, gridlock and really make our roads unsafe,” Moore said.
Both the distracted driving and rush hour route enforcement blitz begins Jan. 14 and ends on Jan. 20.
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