Seat belt offenses and driving with a cell phone offences decreased from 2016 to 2017 but R.C.I.P.S. officials say these infractions can still impact road users in a very real way.
Police say with a more staff at the traffic unit, it means more enforcement on the roads. But Inspector Ian Yearwood says people have to take their own precautions to stay safe, like not using your phone while driving and making sure your strapped in your seat belt.
Police say those two offences dropped significantly in 2017 versus the year before.
According to police statistics, tickets for using your cell phone while driving dropped 21% from 2016 to 2017. But traffic management unit’s Ian Yearwood says it’s time to stay vigilant.
“You’re going to have a collision because you’re not paying attention to the road, that two is an offense, that’s driving without due care and attention and it could cause you that you could either rear end someone if you are not paying attention or you could collide with a pedestrian who is trying to cross the street,” said Mr. Yearwood.
According to the United States National Safety Council, one out of four car accidents are caused by texting and driving.
“People have asked me what constitutes using a cell phone, if you’ve got the cellphone in your hand, your texting, if you’ve got the cellphone in your hand and your having a conversation on the cellphone, it’s the same thing as if you had it up to your ear,” Mr. Yearwood said.
According to the traffic law, you can use your phone while driving if you are calling in an emergency when it is unsafe or impractical to stop and park the car or if you have a Bluetooth connection.
“The law allows you to use one touch to either start or end a call, the phone should not be in your hand while you are driving,” said Mr. Yearwood.
He says drivers who get distracted from the roads are putting other road users at risk.
According to police statistics, serious traffic injuries increased by 87.5%, slight possible injuries are down by 27% but damage only collisions increased by 167%.
“It’s not just an offense, it can be dangerous for you,” said Mr. Yearwood.
As for seat belts, offences dropped by 66%, but Inspector Yearwood continues to push for road safety.
“If someone, if there is a collision and someone collides with you it could cause you significant more injuries than if you were wearing the seat belt because the seat belt is designed to protect you,” said Mr. Yearwood.