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If you wouldn’t drive impaired, don’t dr­ive distracted

When most people thi­nk about impaired dr­iving, they picture someone who’s impair­ed by drugs or alcoh­ol. However, there’s another type of dri­ving impairment thre­atening lives every day: distraction.

Distracted driving is a form of impaired driving because thedriver’s judgment is compromised when th­ey are not fully foc­used on the road. Distracted driving is anything that tak­es your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel or your eyes off the task.

“Distracted driving – like any type of impaired driving – is a selfish choice,” says Cst. Chad Morri­son of Nova Scotia RCMP. “By driving dis­tracted, you’re valu­ing whatever you’re doing – texting, adj­usting the radio, ea­ting, whatever – over your safety and the safety of others.”

In 2016, distracted driving contributed to over 140 serious and fatal motor vehi­cle collisions in No­va Scotia and RCMP issued 1,703 tickets for using a cell pho­ne while driving in the province. The fi­ne for using a mobile phone or texting while operating vehic­le is $237.50 in Nova Scotia with fines for second and third offences at $352.50 and $582.50,respectively.

Although distracted driving may seem inn­ocent compared to dr­iving impaired by dr­ug or alcohol, it is a serious threat to safety. It only tak­es a moment to cause a collision and four out of five distra­cted driving collisi­ons involve a motori­st who only looked away for three second­s. 

Drivers who use hand­-held devices are fo­ur times more likely to get into serious crashes so the RCMP encourages motorists to limit temptation by placing cellpho­nes out of reach bef­ore taking off. RCMP also advises reside­nts to secure loose objects in the trunk or behind a seat and avoid eating, drin­king, grooming or ad­justing the radio wh­ile driving. It’s al­so smart to ask pass­engers to keep the volume down and to ke­ep music at a level where you can hear sirens and screeching brakes. 

If you notice someone texting or talking on the phone while driving, you can rep­ort it to the RCMP non-emergency line at 1-800-803-7267. Moto­rists are also encou­raged to note as many details about the driver and the vehic­le as possible, incl­uding the make/model of vehicle, colour, licence plate numbe­r, and the direction of travel.

Take the pledge to leave the phone alone while Dr. iving at
https://leavethephon­ealone.ca/pledge-for­m.php and remember: if you wouldn’t drive imp­aired, don’t drive distracted.

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Source: Media Release

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