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Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Saugeen Shores Police Will Focus on Distracted Driving

Saugeen Shores | by Megan Johnson  

“Operation Hands Free” will last from Friday Feb 21 - March 6

Constable Rose Witteveen 

Saugeen Shores Police will be looking at your hands during a new two week initiative.

On Friday, (Feb 21) the Saugeen Shores Police will be conducting enhanced enforcement targeting distracted drivers and are calling it “Operation Hands Free”.

“The use of hand held devices continues to be a problem”, says Constable Rose Witteveen.  “Even with stiffer penalties drivers still don’t seem deterred to put the phone down”, Witteveen added.

An area of concern is the use of devices while stopped at red lights.  As long as the vehicle is in live traffic, even when stopped at a light, the operator is subject to sanctions if caught using a hand held device.   

It has now been over a year since the province implemented higher penalties. 

What Counts as Distracted Driving ( It is illegal to:

use a phone or other hand-held wireless communication device to text or dial – you can only touch a device to call 911 in an emergency
use a hand-held electronic entertainment device, such as a tablet or portable gaming console
view display screens unrelated to driving, such as watching a video
program a GPS device, except by voice commands

The following information outlines the fines and suspensions that violators face.

***If you have an A, B, C, D, E, F and/or G licence

For your first conviction:

fine of up to $1,000
three demerit points
three-day day driver’s licence suspension

For your second conviction within 5 years:

fine of up to $2,000
six demerit points
seven-day driver’s licence suspension

For your third and all subsequent convictions within 5 years:

fine of up to $3,000
 six demerit points
 30-day driver’s licence suspension

Novice drivers

If you hold a G1, G2, M1 or M2 licence, and are convicted of distracted driving, you’ll face the same escalating fines as drivers with A to G licences but you won’t receive any demerit points.

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