Cellphones causing accidents on Confederation Bridge
Not waiting for a fatal accident, says bridge manager
RCMP and staff at the Confederation Bridge are keeping a close eye on distracted drivers following a number of accidents related to cellphone use.
"In the past year and a half, we've seen five accidents on the bridge that have a common denominator, which is driver inattention," said bridge general manager Michel Le Chasseur.
"It has ramped up the risk on the bridge significantly."
The problem has become so common it prompted Le Chasseur to alert the RCMP.
"We're not going to wait for a fatality. We have to do something now."
There are 22 cameras along the entire length of the Confederation Bridge, and staff keep a close eye on vehicles that may be swerving or speeding. Those are good indicators that a driver may be distracted.
Those cameras came in handy last month after a tractor trailer truck slammed into the back of a sweeper truck, sending two people to hospital and shutting the bridge down for hours. RCMP say the cause of the accident was a driver using a cellphone.
RCMP Const. Steve MacDonnell is now tackling the problem in one of a number of unmarked vehicles.
"We're on [it] daily and nightly as well," said MacDonnell.
"We're probably dedicating at least three to four hours a day solely on cell phone enforcement."
In the last week RCMP have issued 11 tickets for cell phone offences, but police say with so many drivers still not getting the message, they expect that number will continue to climb.