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Police urge more attentive driving after P.E.I. motorist rolls vehicle while reaching for sandwich

An RCMP cruiser goes down a P.E.I. road.
An RCMP cruiser goes down a P.E.I. road. - FILE

Eating while driving caused a young driver to crash her vehicle.

A 19-year-old woman lost control of her vehicle reaching for a sandwich while driving in Stanhope Thursday, says RCMP Sgt. Leanne Butler.

The driver over-corrected, left the road, hit a post, and rolled the vehicle. No one was injured.

Butler said the driver was not charged.

“It really is not illegal to eat a sandwich (while driving),’’ she said.

Under the P.E.I. Highway Traffic Act, using a handheld communication device can lead to a distracted driving charge.

Related: Distracted drivers causing accidents on P.E.I.

Still, Butler says many actions by a driver can take his or her focus away from the road.

The driver’s focus should be driving, not petting a dog, grabbing a drink of coffee or water, changing CDs or putting on make-up.

“There is a plethora of things that can cause momentary lapses to your attention when driving,’’ said Butler.

The sergeant was asked to comment on the practice of motorists driving with a dog on their lap with the animal’s head and sometimes half of its the body jutting out the window.

“I would caution to be aware that having a dog that is going around the vehicle can be a distraction and you really should be paying attention to your driving,’’ she said.

“It’s a distraction, but it is not specifically mentioned in the Highway Traffic Act.’’

The P.E.I. Highway Traffic Act states, under the section entitled Rules of The Road, that a person shall not drive a vehicle on a highway or in any other place “without due care and attention or without reasonable consideration for other persons.’’

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