39 busted for using cell, texting while driving

Drivers are still acting like they’re above the law when it comes to cellphone use behind the wheel.

“It’s because there’s no (demerit) points attached,” said Ottawa police Sgt. Mark Gatien.

In three hours, 39 people were issued cellphone infractions during a blitz in the east end by cops last week.

The sting was part of the Selected Traffic Enforcement Program for the month of August.

Many of the drivers were caught texting in their laps while stopped at red lights.

“They think that if they’re stopped then the law doesn’t apply. Well, I’ve got news for you,” said Gatien.

Others were using handhelds on speaker phone.

Drivers were nabbed at various intersections.

Enforcement continues throughout August, Gatien said, adding they’re focusing on cellphone and seatbelt violations.

A first-time offender busted for using a cellphone while driving will see a $155 fine.

The province-wide ban on hand-held devices while driving kicked in Oct. 26, 2009 and police began issuing tickets Feb. 1, 2010.

Drivers who receive a summons or who contest their ticket by going to court may face a fine of up to $500, according to the Ministry of Transportation.

For more information visit http://www.mto.gov.on.ca




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