SQ uses unexpected way to catch drivers texting
In a recent crackdown on drivers who text while behind the wheel of a car, the Sûreté du Québec and the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec, teamed up to catch offenders in a most unexpected way.
According to a Global News report on November 29th, SQ police and agents from the SAAQ, drove up and down Hwy 15 in Laval in a big, unmarked white bus, giving them a strategic advantage from above to spot people below who were texting and driving.
When spotting offenders, they radioed other officers in patrol cars within proximity, who then pulled them over and handed them $127 tickets with four demerit points. In just that day, thirty-two tickets were issued.
“If you look down for four to six seconds while you’re driving, you just crossed a football field with your eyes closed,” Control Routier spokesperson Marie-Josee Michaud was quoted as saying. “Distraction while driving causes half the accidents in Quebec. We are there to verify that everyone respects the law, and it’s really to save lives.”
Recent studies show that drivers who text while driving or even just hold their phone to talk, are FOUR times more likely to get into crashes serious enough to cause injury. They tend to react more slowly to a critical event or worse – they may not detect the danger at all.
The big, white bus operation confirmed there are still plenty of drivers on the road who blatantly ignore the warnings, putting themselves and others at serious risk. The Federal government is set to enact Bill C-373 ‘A Federal Framework on Distracted Driving Act’, which will not only increase the fines, but make driving while texting a criminal offence – while the Quebec government is planning to increase the fine for distracted driving to at least $300.
As for the drivers who were caught that day, it was an ‘unexpected’ opportunity for them to smarten up before it’s too late.