(LANARK COUNTY, ON) – The Lanark County Ontario Provincial Police in partnership with the OPP Highway Safety Division will be conducting a focused patrol targeting distracted driving on Friday September 18, 2015.

Distracted driving refers to all forms of distracted or inattentive driving, such as adjusting a vehicle’s entertainment or GPS unit or stereo, eating and drinking, using a hand-held device, self-grooming or tending to children in the backseat etc.  Drivers need to remember that the true danger to public safety lies in the distraction, not the device.

Lanark County has seen an increase of inattentive driver related motor vehicle collisions.  In 2008, 148 motor vehicle collisions were a result of inattentive drivers and that number has increased to 202 in 2014.  Despite education and enforcement initiatives drivers continue to drive while distracted. Between 2010-2014 Lanark County OPP laid 619 Distracted Driving charges and as of September 1, 2015 have laid 103 charges this year.

The OPP is committed to raising awareness about the dangers of Distracted Driving and want to remind drivers of the new penalties that go with it. On September 1, 2015 the penalty for Distracted Driving rose to $490 and 3 demerit points.  If contested, drivers can be fined up to $1000 upon conviction for inattentive driving.

Leave the device alone and don’t be a distracted driver.