Distracted drivers 'everywhere': Ottawa police
Despite crashes and hundreds of fines, drivers still take risk
A year after Ontario barred drivers from using cellphones and other handheld electronics while they're behind the wheel, little has changed.
Ottawa police say they issue an average of 400 fines per month to distracted drivers who often appear impaired — swerving, braking erratically, or sometimes even veering into oncoming traffic.
Samantha Lyman said sending a text message from behind the wheel may have been her daughter Kay's last act as she drove from Carleton Place to Arnprior, Ont.
"She sent out a text to Facebook at around 12:32 (p.m.), and the accident happened at around 12:33," Lyman said.
Kay, 18, was killed on May 20 of this year when her car slid into the path of an oncoming truck.
"She was our baby," her mother said in an interview with CBC News.
Recent studies estimate drivers continue to risk their lives. Close to 10 per cent of drivers are holding a mobile phone or texting while behind the wheel, one study found.
Police in Ottawa are cracking down, but the problem persists.
"I'm probably doing at least four tickets a day, myself, for the cellphone ban, and that is just driving about, doing regular enforcement," said Const. T.J. Jellinek. "It's everywhere."
The CBC's Jeff Semple hit the road and spoke with those affected most by the dangers of distracted driving. Tune in to his reports Wednesday on CBC Radio, TV and online. You can also follow him on Twitter @JeffSempleCBC.