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Published on Wednesday, September 6, 2017

2 police charge 33 distracted drivers

One driver was playing checkers on the phone...

2 police charge 33 distracted drivers
Const. Marc Taraso pulls over another vehicle during a Sept. 5 bike patrol. That patrol saw Taraso and Const. Matt Springstead charge 33 people with distracted driving
— Photo courtesy of Const. Marc Taraso
By David Lea, Oakville Beaver

The presence of children on local streets with the return of school appears to have done little to impact distracted driving in Oakville with two Halton police officers charging 33 individuals with the offence in just one day.

On Monday (Sept. 4) and Tuesday (Sept. 5) Const. Marc Taraso carried out bike patrols in the area of Cornwall and Trafalgar roads as part of Project Safe Start.

The Halton police education and enforcement initiative is aimed at curbing unsafe driving behaviours as students return to school.

On Monday Taraso’s patrol lasted just five hours (10 a.m., to 3 p.m.), but it was long enough to charge eight people with distracted driving and one driver with having an insecure load.

The following day Taraso, accompanied by Const. Matt Springstead, patrolled the same area for five and a half hours (10:30 a.m., to 4 p.m.) this time charging 33 distracted drivers between the two of them.

In one incident Springstead was preparing to pull over one distracted driver when a second driver on a phone screeched to a stop just three feet behind the officer.

Both individuals were charged.

In another incident Taraso was preparing to pull over a vehicle for distracted driving when he noticed two other drivers on their phones adjacent to that one.

All three drivers were charged.

During another traffic stop Taraso discovered a driver playing checkers on their phone.

“Distracted driving remains one of the leading causes of death and serious injuries on the province’s roads. Recent statistics from the Insurance Bureau of Canada indicate that a driver is 23 times more likely to be involved in a collision when texting and driving,” said Taraso.

“While many drivers are obeying the distracted driving laws, some drivers seem to not be getting the message of the dangers of distracted driving. Many of the drivers ticketed over the last two days had prior convictions for distracted driving.”

The distracted drivers received $490 tickets.

Taraso said he would be back on bike patrol on Thursday (Sept. 7) looking for distracted drivers in North Oakville.
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Author: Mayor Rob Burton

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