S.T.E.P. - Strategic Traffic Enforcement Program
Smiths Falls Police utilize the Strategic Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP) as part of our ongoing commitment to improve road safety.
STEP works by having our officers focus enforcement on different areas of concern each month regarding drivers, vehicles and traffic. The
subject of enforcement is based on problems identified through collisions, officer observations and citizen concerns.
STEP can be an effective tool in correcting driver errors, addressing unsafe vehicles and improving traffic. Citizens are encouraged to
contact our service if they have concerns over specific traffic related issues they would like to
see as a focus of STEP.
The ultimate goal of STEP is to make our roads safer for everyone in our community.
STEP Program for August 2017 - STEP Program for August 2017
Hand Held Devices and the Law.
Cellular telephones have quickly become a leading cause of car crashes.
Distracted driving caused more deaths than impaired driving in 2013. Driver distraction is a factor in about 4 million motor vehicle crashes in North America each year.
Studies have proven that drivers on a cell phone are four times as likely to be in a car crash.
Section 78.1(1) of the Ontario Highway Traffic Act states:
No person shall drive a motor vehicle on a highway while holding or using a hand-held wireless communication device or other prescribed device that is capable of receiving or transmitting telephone communications, electronic data, mail or text messages.
Exceptions for using a wireless communication or entertainment devises
In hands-free mode. Don't hold it.
Using any device while pulled over or parked - as long as you are not disrupting traffic
A commercial GPS must be built in and hands free or mounted on the dashboard and hands free
Please be aware that this also applies to laptops, MP3s, hand held gaming devices and iPods, unless you have an integration kit and can adjust the tunes through your car radio.
Drivers with A to G licences
If you have an A, B, C, D, E, F and/or G licence, you will face bigger penalties when convicted of distracted driving:
-a fine of $490, if settled out of court (includes a victim surcharge and the court fee)
-a fine of up to $1,000 if a summons is received or if you fight the ticket in court and lose
three demerit points
If you hold a G1, G2, M1 or M2 licence, and are convicted of distracted driving, you will face the same fines as drivers with A to G licences. But you won`t receive any demerit points.
Instead of demerit points you will face:
-a 30-day licence suspension for a first conviction
-a 90-day licence suspension for a second conviction
-cancellation of your licence and removal from the Graduated Licensing System (GLS) for a third conviction
to get your licence back you`d have to redo the GLS program
This law came into effect in October 2009 and people are still breaking the law.
The Selective Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP) for the month of August is Distracted Driving violations. Smiths Falls Police Officers will be looking for and enforcing these and all Highway Traffic Act violations while keeping roadways safe. You can find this plus other information on the Smiths Falls Police Service website at www.sfps.ca
Submitted by Constable Aaron Tompkins, Community Service Officer of the Smiths Falls Police Service.
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