New Ontario ad campaign shows consequences of distracted driving
Taline McPhedran, CTVNews.ca
Published Friday, June 17, 2016 10:29PM EDT
A new ad campaign by the Government of Ontario shows the real life consequences of distracted driving alongside a simple message: “It happens fast. Put down the phone.”
According to the province, one in seven deaths on Ontario roads are caused by distracted driving, the most of any other driving fatality, with a distracted driving incident occurring in Ontario every 30 seconds.
Melody Battle survived a distracted driving crash, in which she was the driver. According to Battle, first responders didn’t think that she would make it out alive.
“I was texting my boss, ‘Hey I’m going to be late, sorry,’ and I didn’t realize once I looked up that right in front of me was a road grader,” said Battle.
After coming out of a three-week coma, Battle lost her vision in one eye and also has a brain injury. She said that the ad is amazing, in the sense that it shows people what could happen whether they think it will or not.
“People think they’re invincible but let me tell you, you’re not,” she said.
According to the Government of Ontario, distracted driving consists of using your phone to talk and text as well as other activities such as eating, reading or using a GPS. Drivers using a phone are four times more likely to crash than a driver who is concentrating on the road.
According to Sergeant Darrin Turnbull, of the RCMP’s Integrated Traffic Services in Southern Alberta, many young people feel obligated to answer their phone regardless of whether they are driving due to social pressure.
“It’s more socially unacceptable to ignore the phone because if it’s a boyfriend-girlfriend situation and you don’t answer that text it’s like you are giving them the silent treatment,” said Sgt. Turnbull.
Research has shown that distracted driving deaths have increased 26 per cent in the last decade.
With a report from CTV’s Janet Dirks