A woman uses an iPhone in the driver's seat of a Ford vehicle.
Distracted driving is the focus of a new traffic initiative being launched by Essex County OPP.

Project S.T.A.T.S (Stop Texting and Travel Safely) started Monday with local OPP Traffic Enforcement Unit members and municipal patrol officers aggressively enforcing distracted driving violations.

The OPP is committed to Canada Road Safety Strategy 2025 through prevention, intervention and suppression.

This distracted driving campaign will include a month-long local initiative that will focus on strategic distracted driving enforcement, combined with robust media involvement.

The premise of this strategy was based on the success of a study conducted in 2010 by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The study supports high visibility enforcement, combined with strategic communications, as the most effective method of reducing distracted driving.

OPP say the results showed significant reductions in hand-held cell phone use and texting while driving.

With this knowledge, officers will take a “zero tolerance” enforcement approach to the causal factors of collisions, specifically distracted driving, during this initiative and properly address any observed violations.

Police say unmarked vehicles and surreptitious enforcement will be utilized to help curb the urge for those drivers that still believe that these deadly habits are an acceptable practice.

Source: CTV News