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OPP : Teens still texting while driving
OPP : Teens still texting while driving

OPP : Teens still texting while driving

Texting and driving might be the new epidemic in our society.

The 2013 Student Drug Use and Health Survey found that one-third of licensed Ontario students in grades 10 to 12 reported having texted while driving at least once in the past year. When looking at Grade 12s alone, the percentage rises to 46% of licensed students.

Constable Laurie Harkoff spoke more about the results.

“It is surprising that teenagers with the education they have, are still choosing to text and drive. Teen passengers, along with any other age, have to speak up when the driver in their vehicle is texting or driving distracted. They need to keep in mind that texting is not worth a life or serious injury,” she said.

Harkoff also explained why texting can be so dangerous while behind the wheel.

“All it takes is one split second of distraction and it could end up in a collision,” she said.

Unfortunately, the statistic jumps to 46 per cent for students in Grade 12. Harkoff explained what’s the next step to discourage high school students from texting while driving.

“Basically just education. Use of social media to educate the public and engage online audiences in discussions about distracted driving. By encouraging a public dialogue on the subject we raise awareness about the problem,” she said.

The provincial government is also considering bringing back legislation that toughens penalties and adds demerit points for distracted driving. Right now it is simply a $280 fine.


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