Distracted driving campaign targets Montreal’s south shore

Distracted driving campaign
WATCH: Longueuil police are reminding drivers to keep their eyes on the road with a new distracted driving campaign. Global’s Brayden Jagger Haines explains.

Longueuil police launched an awareness campaign Tuesday in hopes of bolstering safety behind the wheel and on the road.

The project on Montreal’s south shore aims to crack down on distracted driving in the area, which spans Boucherville, Brossard, Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville, Saint-Lambert and Longueuil.

“We ask drivers to keep their eyes on the road and to put their attention behind the wheel,” said police spokesperson Marie Beauvais.

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The initiative called #NonAuxDistractions reminds motorists that they must be completely concentrated on driving. Police say distraction comes in different forms and can lead drivers’ eyes, hands and thoughts to be somewhere else.

Longueuil police say that close to two-thirds of road accidents in the area are linked to distracted driving.

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As part of the campaign, police are reminding drivers that texting behind the wheel can lead to fines of up to $600 and the loss of five demerit points in Quebec. Police say that close to 26 per cent of car accidents are caused by cellphone use — including hands-free devices —  in Longueuil.

READ MORE: Distracted driving could mean higher insurance rates for motorists

In Quebec, using portable electronic devices while driving is illegal. The Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ) says such devices include first-generation cell phones, smart phones, iPods, tablets and display screens that are unauthorized.

Police are also cracking down on other bad behaviour aside from cellphone use, according to Beauvais.

“Put your makeup on before getting on the road please,” said Beauvais.

The campaign will run from Tuesday until March 2020.

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— With files from Global News’ Brayden Jagger Haines