(West Grey Police Services photo)

A Kitchener man has been charged after he drove through a RIDE check in Durham while watching a YouTube video on his cellphone.

On Monday morning West Grey police officers were conducting the RIDE check at the intersection of Durham Road East and Garafraxa Street North when they were met by the man who drove through the RIDE program while watching a video, police said in a news release.

The 60-year-old driver was pulled over and charged with driving with a display screen visible to the driver.

Police remind motorists that distracted driving isn’t just about using a cellphone, but GPS units, smartwatches, tablets and laptops can all lead to driver inattention.

“When driving, you are in control and share a responsibility for road safety,” West Grey Police Chief Robert Martin said in the release. “Distracted driving is not only hazardous to you, it endangers your passengers and everyone on and around the roadways.”

Driving five seconds while text messaging at 90 km/h is the equivalent to having driven the length of a football field while blindfolded, Martin said.

“We want everyone to enjoy a safe holiday season so keep your eyes on the road and keep you mind on the task of driving,” he said.

As of Jan. 1, 2019 the maximum fine for distracted driving on a first offence is $1,000, with a three-day licence suspension upon conviction.

A second conviction results in a seven-day licence suspension, while those with more than two charges face a 30-day licence suspension.

Drivers with a class G1, G2, M1 or M2 licence receive an additional 30-day licence suspension for a first conviction, a 90-day licence suspension for a second conviction and cancellation of their licence and removal from the Graduated Licensing System for a third conviction.

Those who engage in distracted driving may be charged with driving with a display screen visible to the driver, driving with a hand-held communication device or driving with a hand-held entertainment device, the release said.

Source: Owen Sound Sun Times