Using handheld devices while driving is illegal and distracting, says an RCMP news release.
A summer-long campaign to discourage text messaging while driving resulted in nearly 4,500 Islanders signing an online pledge to “practise safe text.”
“It’s good to see so many Islanders join with their neighbours to publicly state they will leave their phone alone while driving,” Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Minister Robert Vessey said.
He said the ultimate measure of success will be if Island drivers remember to avoid texting in dangerous situations long after this campaign has ended.
The province’s Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal and Insurance Bureau of Canada partnered with Hot 105.5 FM on the Practise Safe Text campaign.
Vessey visited the radio station’s studio Monday to announce the winner of an IPad — Sarah Swain from Prince County — whose name was drawn from among those who took the safe text pledge on the station’s website.
“Distracted driving puts lives at risk — all for the sake of sending an email or dialing a number before arriving at the destination,” said Amanda Dean, vice-president, Atlantic Insurance Bureau of Canada.
“IBC is happy to have worked with our partners in this campaign to get drivers to recognize the dangers of not concentrating on the task at hand — driving. Congratulations to all of those who signed up — you are taking an important step toward increasing the safety of everyone on our roadways.”
Using a mobile device while driving a motor vehicle is illegal in the province. Drivers caught using a hand-held device, including a BlackBerry, IPhone, GPS system or laptop, face penalties of $400 and three demerit points.
For more information, visit the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal’s Impaired, Distracted, and Dangerous Driving page.