A man sits behind the wheel texting with a Blackberry smartphone.

Postmedia Network file photo

As part of a year-long crackdown on traffic violations, the city police traffic management unit is focusing on a particular problem each month.

For February, it’s distracted driving. Officers will be watching for drivers using cellphones, GPS units or entertainment devices while behind the wheel.

Ontario law prohibits the operation of hand-held communication and electronic entertainment devices while driving or looking at display screens unrelated to driving.

The devices in question include iPods, MP3 players, GPS units, cellphones, laptops and DVD players.

It’s illegal to use these devices even when stopped at a red light or stop sign, police advise.

Tips: Turn off your phone or put it on silent mode. It can be kept in the glove compartment or in a bag on the back seat. Record a message before you leave, explaining that you’re driving and will call back when it’s safe. Drivers can ask passengers to answer or make calls, or download an app that blocks incoming information while driving.

Drivers can also pull over somewhere safe to make calls or send texts, including calls to 911.

Source: The Peterborough Examiner