toronto distracted driving

Toronto police are riding TTC buses to catch distracted drivers

Heads up, people who think they can get away with texting and driving because the cops can't see the phones in their laps: Literally, keep your heads up and your eyes on the road if you want to avoid some very steep fines.

Starting today, Toronto Police will be conducting a two-week-long traffic blitz aimed squarely at distracted drivers, and they'll be getting tricky to catch offenders in the act.

"To drivers who think that they can hide their use of a hand-held device by simply holding it down or out of plain sight from police, we have a message," reads a TPS media release. "Officers will be utilizing all types of vehicles and tactics during this campaign to look for distracted drivers."

One of those tactics includes police officers riding TTC buses and streetcars to creep on drivers from above.

Police will also be hunting for offenders in their patrol cars, in unmarked vehicles, on bicycles, on foot and, while they don't specifically mention in the release, perhaps on horseback too.

This "aggressive, zero tolerance enforcement and awareness campaign" coincides with new, tougher distracted driving penalties that came into effect on January 1 across the province. 

Fines for using a phone behind the wheel in Ontario more than doubled at the beginning of 2019 to $1,000 for your first conviction. In some cases, using a handheld device while driving could lead to fines of up to $3,000 and the complete cancellation of your licence.

"We know that road safety and distracted driving is not something that enforcement alone can solve," reads the TPS release.

"Distracted Driving is a behaviour issue and can only improve when we collectively make changes to how we drive."

The campaign will run until January 20, but it's for the best to just keep your phone out of reach forever moving forward. No phone call, text, or rare Pokémon is worth six demerit points (or killing someone.) Not even a legendary Pokémon.

Lead photo by

Jason Cook


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