AMHERST – Show of hands, how many of you have failed to keep both on the steering wheel when driving?
© Christopher Gooding photo
Amherst Police, Cumberland RCMP and Springhill Police Service joined forces Friday to launch an April campaign in Amherst against distracted drivers.
Amherst Police will be reminding motorists this month importance of not being distracted when driving with a number of spot checks and enforcements this month, keeping an eye out for anyone who may not be giving the road their fullest attentions.
To kick off the campaign, Amherst Police partnered with Cumberland RCMP and Springhill Police Service to hand out information on Robert Angus Drive on Friday. With a grey overcast and rain, the flashing red and blue lights from the congregation of emergency vehicles in the centre lane looked very much like the scene of an accident, perhaps caused by distracted driving. If by design or not, it captured the attention of oncoming traffic. Officers directed traffic through the stop, offering motorists literature on distracted driving, the law, and consequences.
“When you’re driving, keep the cell phone down,” Const. Tom Wood with the Amherst Police said. “The stats are there. You are 23-times more likely to get involved in an accident because of distracted driving.”
The month of April will be dedicated to enforcing distracted driving laws, Wood said, and getting education out to the public. And the focus won’t just be cell phone usage.
“I know there are a lot of drivers out there distracted by more than just cell phones. It’s GPSs, eating, adjusting the radio… there are a lot of things to concentrate on when driving a motor vehicle.”
This isn’t the first time Amherst Police have lead a charge on combating distracted driving, Wood says, but the importance of encouraging safe driving practices in the public is becoming more important each year.
“Last year was the first year using cell phones while driving out-paced dinking and speeding for fatalities in Canada.”
In a day and age where more and more people are connected socially through their cell phones and the technology becomes more time absorbing, Wood offers simple advice to avoid causing an accident or having a run-in with the law.
“Pull over to take a call. We’re fine with that.”