The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary held a mock accident in Conception Bay South on Saturday to highlight the dangers of driving while distracted.

During the demonstration, members of the CBS Fire Department used the Jaws of Life to rip off the top of a car on the side of Topsail Road to display their warning.


Sgt. Rodney Priddle with the RNC says drivers are too distracted by their devices while driving. CBC

Sgt. Rodney Priddle with the Constabulary said it is easier now for people to get distracted while driving than it was before.

"Most people now have a cellphone. If you have a smart phone it has a camera, it has video on it, you can watch Netflix, and people are doing that," Priddle said.

"We don’t want you doing that while you're driving. Not only is it not prudent or safe, it's against the law."

Priddle is heading up the education campaign and hopes that it will increase awareness about the dangers of driving while distracted.

Increased presence

Officers were also out in full force at the scene, and handed out tickets to anyone who was caught distracted while they were driving.

"If you are convicted in court for distracted driving, that's four demerit points, which is substantial," Priddle said.

"Also the fine can range anywhere from $100 to $400."

Cellphones may be the biggest problem, but Chad Murphy, a captain with the CBS Fire Department, said drivers also become distracted by actual accident scenes.

"There's a lot of near misses — at most scenes we're on, there's always somebody that will almost run over a pylon or almost hit one of us, or gets distracted or has to slam on the brakes — or almost puts their car in the ditch," Murphy said.

"But a lot of times, there will be a second or third accident caused by it."

Murphy said no matter what is happening on or off the road, drivers should keep their attention focused on their driving.