Hefty fine, licence suspension and loss of demerit points

Halton Regional Police
This was the scene Friday morning (April 5) when Halton police pulled over a driver who was allegedly checking flight times on his phone while driving through a busy intersection.

Halton Regional Police say an Oakville driver was checking the status of his flight on his phone Friday (April 5) while going through a busy intersection.

The driver in a white SUV was pulled over around 7:30 a.m. near the intersection of Ford Drive and Upper Middle Road after the alleged infraction was noticed by a Halton police officer.

“Perhaps, if you are the driver of a motor vehicle, the very busy intersection of Ford Drive and Upper Middle Drive is not the best place to check flight times on your phone,” said Const. Marc Taraso, who hopes public awareness of these incidents will end distracted driving.

The man was charged with distracted driving, a charge which carries a $615 fine, three demerit points and a three-day driver’s licence suspension.

The incident prompted a strong response from social media users.

“That’s so dangerous,” tweeted Jennifer Tweed.

The stiffer penalties for distracted driving didn’t appear to have a lot of impact in the early days of 2019. In the first 17 days of the year, there were 79 distracted driving tickets handed out in Halton. That was down from 96 issued during the same period in 2018, a drop of 17.8 per cent.

The message does seem to be finally getting through. As of March 20, Halton police had handed out 327 distracted driving tickets. That’s down from 620 over the same period last year, a decrease of 47.3 per cent.

Taraso said distracted driving accounts for almost 40 per cent of all the tickets he’s issued in 2019.

This ticket comes less than a week after police say another Oakville driver was watching the Toronto Maple Leafs game while driving.

-with files from Herb Garbutt

Source: InsideHalton.com