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Halifax District RCMP reporting 200 per cent increase in distracted driving charges

FILE - There has been a 200 per cent increase in distracted driving charges in RCMP-policed areas of the Halifax Regional Municipality January 1 to March 31 compared to the same time last year.
FILE - There has been a 200 per cent increase in distracted driving charges in RCMP-policed areas of the Halifax Regional Municipality January 1 to March 31 compared to the same time last year. Paul Chiasson / The Canadian Press

RCMP-policed areas of Halifax have seen a 200 per cent increase so far this year in distracted driving charges.

Halifax District RCMP say the number of distracted driving charges issued by them between Jan. 1 and March 31 rose from 27 in 2018, to 81 in 2019.

All of the 2019 charges were related to phone use.

READ MORE: NS RCMP stats prove deadly consequences of distracted driving

“If you are using your phone and it’s in your hands, you can be charged,” said Cpl. Lisa Croteau.

The fine for using a cellphone while driving is $237.50 in Nova Scotia, with four demerit points added to a person’s driver’s licence.

Regarding cell phone use, Croteau recommends using devices that allow the driver to keep both hands on the wheel.

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“Use Bluetooth if they have a vehicle that’s equipped with that, or buying equipment to use Bluetooth in their vehicle, so that they keep their hands on the wheel and pay attention while they’re driving,” she said.

“If not, pull over and use your phone.”

WATCH: N.S. company develops new device to put brakes on distracted driving (March 22, 2017)

N.S. company develops new device to put brakes on distracted driving
N.S. company develops new device to put brakes on distracted driving

Croteau adds people can call 911 if they see someone driving in an unsafe manner.

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