Napanee OPP’s Distracted Driving Campaign sees 49 charges laid

Beaver Staff

Officers with the Napanee OPP laid a total of 49 charges in and around Lennox and Addington County during the Distracted Driving Campaign.

 Of those 49, officers laid 47 charges under the “Handheld Communication Device “section, a provision of the Ontario Highway Traffic Act. Offences under this section may include texting while driving, and holding a hand held communication device/entertainment device while driving. Fines under this section total $615, and upon conviction carry a three day driver’s licence suspension. Drivers face escalating sanctions if charged repeatedly under this section.

 Additionally, two drivers were charged careless operation of a motor vehicle. One driver was charged while writing on a notepad while driving, a second driver was charged while filling out a cheque on the steering wheel while driving. Fines for Careless Operation total $490.

 “The campaign may be over, but Napanee OPP officers are always watching for distracted drivers,'” said Insp. Scott Semple, commander of the Napanee Detachment. “Driving is a huge responsibility and needs your undivided attention.”

 Increased distracted driving penalties took effect on Jan.1 of this year. The new penalties include a fine increase up to $1,000, three demerit points and a three-day licence suspension. Novice drivers also face longer licence suspensions under the new laws.

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