RCMP cracking down on distracted drivers

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Distracted drivers have now become the number 1 cause of fatal crashes in Nova Scotia.

AMHERST - Distracted drivers have now become the number 1 cause of fatal crashes in Nova Scotia.

The RCMP’s analysis over the last five years has identified four major factors leading to fatal motor vehicle collisions. They are: Impairment by drug or alcohol, speed (aggressive driving), unbelted occupants and distracted driving.

“Over the last five years, 33 per cent of fatalities were attributed to driver distraction, making it the number 1 cause,” Const. Travise Dow of the Cumberland District RCMP said.

Too often drivers justify driving while distracted every day, the reality is that motorists have a huge responsibility in making our roads safer, Dow said.

“They must remain focused on the task of driving. That means constantly making yourself aware of the external environment (traffic volume, speed, weather conditions, etc.).”

Driver distraction includes anything that takes the focus off the road, the use of handheld devices (cell phones, GPS), as well as being distracted by passengers in the vehicle.

Because of the difficulty of identifying distracted drivers, the RCMP is making the issue a high priority.

Through education, communication and enforcement the RCMP attempts to make Nova Scotia roads a safer place.

Last year, the RCMP issued 28,677 violation tickets relative to the four major factors of fatal and serious injury collisions. Of that, 2,841 were distracted driving and cell phone violations.

Over the last three months alone, the RCMP issued 1,064 cell phone tickets in Nova Scotia.

Ultimately, drivers have to change their behaviour, Dow said.

“Driving is a huge responsibility. Drivers must remain focused on the task of driving, be aware of their surroundings, know their vehicle and keep cell phones turned off when driving.”

 

STATS: (RCMP Jurisdiction in NS)

Percentage over the last 5 years:

Distracted Driving – 33 per cent of fatalities

Speed – 31 per cent of fatalities

Unbelted Occupants - 28 per cent of fatalities

Impairment by drug or alcohol – 26 per cent of fatalities

 

staffreporter@amherstdaily.com

 

Organizations: RCMP

Geographic location: Nova Scotia

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Recent comments

  • colin martin
    July 27, 2013 - 10:03

    Put a scrambler in all vehicles that would interfere with reception. Everyone is in a hurry, due to poor planning. Cell phones should only be used for emergencies, but saying that I am over 60 and have always found answering machines will do.

  • Jake Romeo
    July 27, 2013 - 09:07

    I believe that, as more & more of the younger generation become drivers, there will be more collisions on our highways. Cell phone use, (texting), is cheaper than using air-time minutes, which is how the majority of the population communicates today. You can communicate long distance without using precious air-time. I don't think that twinning the highways will solve all the fatal collisions, it should, however, reduce them, but it may also provide a two lane race-track, which would result in more high-speed crashes. The bottom-line is that cell-phones,drugs, alcohol, and speed , are all deadly, when you combine them with a motor-vehicle. ( this is just my opinion )-- THANKS.