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Police officers patrolling the streets of Ontario's biggest cities have a lot with which they must contend. Many motorists seem intent on flouting the rules of the road, and end up putting other drivers and their passengers at risk. The good news is that some categories of negligent driving have seen a decrease since last year. Unfortunately, the distracted driver is the new scourge of the road according to statistics.

The first quarter road safety report from the Toronto Police went public just recently. Comparative statistics show how things have changed since the same time last year. On the positive side, road deaths have decreased by 30 percent to 14, even though the number of collisions almost held steady at just under 16,000. Alcohol-impaired driving arrests also dropped by 11 percent.

Unfortunately, the decreases were largely balanced by increases in other areas. Drug-impaired driving arrests increased from 10 to 12, and the road-side oral fluid screening pilot project detected illegal drugs in the systems of 13 motorists. The biggest spike, however, came in the distracted driving category. Between Jan. 1 and April 3, Toronto Police issued 1,840 distracted driving tickets, an increase of 37 percent over the same period last year.

There are around 40 motor vehicle accidents every day in Toronto. Some accidents are entirely unavoidable, and no one is to blame. Unfortunately, there are always motorists who choose to ignore the laws of Ontario, and common sense, drive recklessly and cause unnecessary accidents. Any man or woman who has been in an accident caused by a distracted driver may want to speak with a personal injury lawyer to understand what options for financial relief may be available.

Source: Toronto Sun, "Distracted driving on the rise in Toronto", Chris Doucette, April 11, 2017

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