Police across Canada are cracking down on distracted driving over the long Thanksgiving weekend.
Operation Impact will focus on a number of behaviours that put drivers, passengers and other road users including impaired driving, seat belt use, and all aspects related to aggressive and distracted driving.
Police agencies say one of the leading causes of traffic accidents is distracted driving, and police are urging motorists to put down their phones this weekend.
In Halifax, officers were out on Friday stopping motorists, reminding them about seatbelts, drinking and driving and cell phone use.
Although hand held cell phone use may be illegal in Nova Scotia, it didn’t stop many drivers from doing it.
Head of Halifax Regional Police integrated traffic unit, Sgt. Steve Calder, says he has seen it all and knows the consequences.
“Texting while driving increases the chance of an accident by 30 per cent,” he said.
Education campaigns have been ongoing for months and Calder says it’s time now for enforcement.
The driver doesn’t even have to be talking on the phone to get a ticket.
“The only requirement for us is to actually see the hand held phone in their hand.,” Calder said. “Its not for us to suggest what they were doing at the time. They may be using it for GPS, may be playing music and they also may be texting or talking. So if we see the phone in their hand that allows us to issue a ticket.”
Halifax Regional Police say in the last year in Halifax, there were 10 deaths and a number of serious injuries related to vehicle collisions.
They chose this weekend to crack down since more people are travelling and traffic crashes are more frequent.
What if you can’t resist the temptation of the cell phone? Police suggest either turn it off of put it in the back seat where it can’t be reached.