The OPP has investigated 5,619 collisions that involved an inattentive driver so far this year.
Tragically, 31 people lost their lives in the collisions while 1,051 of the incidents left people with injuries.
Inattentive drivers continue to pose a threat to road users and are linked to the deaths of 738 people on OPP-patrolled roads over the past 10 years.
The OPP is warning drivers that with students making their way to and from school beginning next week, there will be zero tolerance for those who direct anything less than 100 percent of their attention to driving.
“Some drivers claim to be good multi-taskers behind the wheel and this is how they justify habitual texting, talking on their phone, or other distractions while driving,” said OPP Commissioner J.V.N. Hawkes.
“This attitude has contributed to driver inattention being the deadliest behaviour on OPP-patrolled roads for the past five years,” he noted.
“To help get the school year off to a safe start, develop a zero tolerance for anyone who claims to be a 'safe' distracted driver,” Hawkes said.
“There is no such thing and anyone who claims otherwise is a dangerous driver,” he stressed.
“Be mindful of all road users including other vehicles, buses, bikes, pedestrians, and little ones getting on and off school buses,” echoed Community Safety and Correctional Services minister Michael Tibollo.
“It's a good habit to practice year-round,” he stressed.
On Jan. 1, 2019, penalties for distracted driving will increase to:
- a fine of up to $1,000;
- three demerit points; and
- a three-day driver's licence suspension.
Also effective Jan. 1, novice drivers will face the same fines as regular drivers and also face:
- a 30-day licence suspension for a first conviction;
- a 90-day licence suspension for a second conviction; and
- cancellation of your licence and removal from the Graduated Licensing System for a third conviction.