` Smiths Falls Police Service - Road Safety STEP
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  • 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 for August 2018 - Distracted Driving



    Cellular telephones have quickly become a leading cause of car crashes. The dangers of distracted driving are real and the evidence speaks for itself: drivers who use cell phones are four times more likely to be in a collision than a driver who is focused on the road. Cell phones and other wireless communication and entertainment devices are a significant visual and cognitive distraction for drivers, with average "eyes off the road" times that increase the risk of collision considerably. At highway speed, a driver sending a simple text message travels the length of a football field without looking at the road.

    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 devices

    In hands-free mode. Don't hold it. Using any device while pulled over and 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 Does not apply in respect of the use of a device to contact ambulance, police or fire department emergency services in an emergency.

    Please be aware that this Bill also pertains to laptops, MP3s, hand held gaming devices and iPods, unless you have an integration kit and can adjust the tunes through your car radio.



    The fine amounts are as follows:

    - $400 plus a victim surcharge and court fee, for a total of $490 if settled out of court - Fine of up to $1,000 if you receive a summons or fight your ticket - Three demerit points applied to your driver's record

    If convicted of distracted driving, a novice driver (subject to the Graduated Licensing program) will be subject to escalating sanctions:

    - First occurrence will result in a 30-day licence suspension - Second occurrence will result in 90-day licence suspension - Third occurrence will result in a cancellation and removal from the Graduated Licensing System

    Novice drivers will not be subject to demerit points

    The Strategic Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP) for the month of August is Distracted Driving and handheld devices.

    The Smiths Falls Police Service will be looking for and enforcing these sections of the Highway Traffic Act related to Distracted Driving.

    If you would like to report any of these infractions please call the Smiths Falls Police Service at 613-283-0357 or for an emergency 911.



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