**** RCMP Media Release
RCMP reminds motorists to stay alert to arrive safely
Nova Scotia RCMP is asking motorists to help keep everyone safe on the roads by staying alert and focused at all times behind the wheel.
This month, the Nova Scotia RCMP will be conducting checkpoints throughout the province to highlight the importance of being focused while driving. From cellphones to loud music to other passengers, there are many distractions that can compete for a driver’s attention and affect their ability to drive safely.
“Driving distracted puts you and everyone on the road at risk and is one of the four casual factors of fatal and serious injury collisions”, says Cpl. Michael Carter with Traffic Services. “It may seem like a low risk to quickly check your phone but when you find yourself needing to stop suddenly, every second counts.”
From October 1, 2020 to January 31 2021, Nova Scotia RCMP charged 183 people with using a cell phone while driving. In Nova Scotia, the fine for using a cellphone while operating a motor vehicle is $237.50. If convicted, four points are added to the driver’s license. The RCMP will continue to target distracted drivers through enforcement in an effort to keep Nova Scotians safe on roadways. Here are some tips to help avoid distracted driving:
- Keep your cellphone out of reach. Reduce the temptation to use it by keeping it out of sight (for example, in a bag in the backseat) and turn the ringer off.
- Plan your route ahead of time.Before you get in the car, know where you’re going and how you’re getting there. If you use a GPS system, program your route prior to starting the car.
- Avoid eating and drinking while driving. If you need to take a drink, wait until you are stopped at a red light.
- Keep music or radio at a reasonable volume.Music should never be so loud that you would not be able to hear a siren, or the screech of brakes from another vehicle.
- Offer help.If you’re a passenger and notice the driver trying to use the phone, offer to send a text or make a call for them. You can also offer to help navigate the GPS.
- Talk to new drivers.Talk to the new drivers in your life about the importance of staying focused behind the wheel and the serious risks when driving distracted.
If you believe someone is driving in a way that is an immediate threat to public safety, please call 911 when it is safe to do so. Include as much detail as possible, such as the location, direction of travel, vehicle and driver description and license plate number.