• Carmen Marie Fabio

Dissuading distracted driving


Sûreté du Québec (SQ) traffic control officer Agt. Christian Paquet joined St. Lazare Councillors Richard Nataf, Pamela Tremblay, Mayor Robert Grimaudo, Councillors Lise Jolicoeur, Brigitte Asselin, Public Security Director Daniel Boyer and Councillor Denis Briard in inaugurating the latest traffic safety campaign to sensitize the public to the dangers of distracted driving due to cell phone use.

The Town of St. Lazare launched an information campaign May 26 aimed at educating motorists to the dangers of texting and driving “It’s part of our continued visual information campaign,” said St. Lazare Mayor Robert Grimaudo. “Last year we had the ‘Share the Road’ campaign and this year we’re focusing on road security, texting and talking on cell phones in particular.”

Grimaudo said that although these sensitization movements are typically done at the provincial level, the town felt it important enough to also promote at the municipal level. Large signs have been erected at the corner of Bédard Avenue and Chemin St. Louis depicting slogans and graphics portraying the potential dangers of distracted driving related to cell phones, including vehicular collisions or accidents involving cyclists and pedestrians.

Sûreté du Québec (SQ) Traffic Control officer Agt. Christian Paquet said texting and driving is still an ongoing issue, despite the April 23 decision by Quebec Transport Minister Robert Poëti to increase the loss of demerit points from three to four for a cell phone related infraction. The current fine for an offense remains $120. According to statistics from the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) drivers engaged in texting are 23 times more likely be involved in a crash and driver distraction is a factor in about 4 million

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