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The Globe and Mail

Ontario police blitz targets drivers distracted by mobile devices

New driver Brandi Eadie, 16, reads a text message as she drives through a rubber-cone course in Seattle in January to demonstrate the dangers of phone use while driving. Eadie, who volunteered for the Driven to Distraction Task Force of Washington State event because she thought she could show organizers that she could safely drive and text at the same time, knocked down multiple cones meant to simulate where pedestrians or other objects could be.

Elaine Thompson/AP Photo

Drivers had better keep their eyes on the roads today – and off their mobile devices – because the O.P.P. has begun a safety blitz to crack down on distracted drivers.

Officers are ramping up their efforts to prevent drivers from texting or eating behind the wheel.

Police say 35 people died and more than 1,000 were injured in collisions last year where the driver was not paying attention.

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It is also expensive – if you are caught chatting on a cellphone, the ticket is $155.

Other kinds of distracted driving, such as eating or searching for something in the car, can earn a careless driving charge.

Those fines range from $400 to $2,000 and can also come with a licence suspension and even six months of jail time.

Get used to the extra attention – the police blitz is the first of four campaigns that will target distracted driving over the next 12 months.

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