EMBRUN — During the week of March 11 through to March 17, officers with the Russell County Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) responded to 278 calls for service. The calls for service included:
Distracted Driving Campaign
From March 11 through to March 17, Russell County OPP officers participated in the March Break Distracted Driving Campaign with a total of 33 drivers charged with Distracted Driving Offences. Although officers patrol highways all year long and look for distracted driving, this annual OPP-led initiative is used to highlight the issue in our communities.
Despite recent focus on prevention through education, distracted driving is still a leading cause of fatalities on our highways. The deaths of 55 people and more than 9,115 collisions were linked to an inattentive driver on OPP-patrolled roads in 2018. The OPP laid 13,529 Distracted Driving charges last year against drivers who chose to make roads unsafe by dividing their attention between driving and using a hand-held electronic device.
As of January 1, the new penalties include a fine increase up to $1,000, three demerit points and a license suspension. The minimum penalty rose to $615 from $490, with three demerit points on first conviction and six demerit points if the driver has been convicted of the same offence, in the past five years. The penalties increase with subsequent offences. Distracted Driving license suspensions start with a three day suspension for a first conviction, seven days on the second, and 30 days for the third. Novice drivers face the same fines, but longer suspensions in lieu of demerit points.
While Ontario’s distracted-driving laws, Sections 78 and 78.1 of the Highway Traffic Act (HTA), only apply to drivers using hand-held communication/entertainment devices and certain display screens, distracted driving refers to all forms of distracted or inattentive driving.
Drivers are reminded that their primary activity needs to be driving while on the road. Additional tasks such as adjusting a vehicle’s GPS or stereo, eating and drinking, self-grooming, or tending to children while behind the wheel may not get you charged with distracted driving, but if it impacts your driving ability it will be looked into as careless driving. In Ontario, you can be charged under HTA section 130 and face a $400-$2,000 fine, up to six months in jail and an up-to-two-year licence suspension. You could also be charged with dangerous driving under the Criminal Code of Canada.
On March 17, at 7:30 p.m., Russell County OPP officers responded to a domestic dispute on Caron St. in Rockland.
The investigation revealed that an altercation occurred between a male and a female.
As a result of the investigation, a 23-year-old female from Clarence-Rockland, was charged with:
- Assault CC 266
The accused is scheduled to appear in the Ontario Court of Justice in L’Orignal on April 3.
Traffic complaint lead to impaired charges
On March 17, at 8 p.m., a Russell County OPP officer responded to a traffic complaint on Castor St. in Russell Township resulting with an Embrun driver arrested.
During the investigation, the officer utilized the Approved Screening Device (ASD) on the driver.
As a result of the investigation, Bruce Quaile, 56, was charged with:
- Operation while impaired – alcohol and drugs CC 320.14(1)(a);
- Operation while impaired – blood alcohol concentration (80 plus) CC 320.14(1)(b);
The accused received a 90-day driver’s license suspension and the vehicle was also impounded for seven days.
The accused is scheduled to appear in L’Orignal court on April 17.