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June 12, 2014
For immediate release
Island drivers are pledging to leave their phones alone
Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal
As graduations and summertime distractions approach, an impressive number of Islanders have committed to leave their phones alone while driving, Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Minister Robert Vessey says.
“We all use our mobile devices to organize our lives, but no plans we make are worth risking your life or someone else’s,” Minister Vessey said. “A distracted driver is a dangerous driver, so remember to wait until you have safely pulled your vehicle off the road before calling or texting.”
The province’s Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), and Hot 105.5 FM are encouraging Islanders to pledge to “Leave the Phone Alone – Practice Safe Text.” Since March 24, nearly 2,500 Islanders have signed the online pledge at www.hot1055fm.com and been entered to win an iPad.
The Leave the Phone Alone campaign now moves to community festivals and concerts across the Island over the summer after taking its message to high school students during the school year. It will continue through the end of 2014.
After 4,500 Islanders first took the anti-distracted-driving pledge in summer 2013, the number of distracted driving convictions throughout 2013 fell to 215 from a four-year high of 258 in 2012.
“Taking your concentration away from the important task of driving – even for a second – can be disastrous,” said Amanda Dean, vice president, Atlantic, IBC. “Distractions are a significant reason for collisions, and the perils that result. Working together, we can make texting and driving socially unacceptable.”
Drivers caught using their hand-held device while driving in Prince Edward Island face penalties of up to $400 and three demerit points, and more severe penalties if the offense results in injury or death. For more information, visit www.leavethephonealone.ca or www.gov.pe.ca/distracteddriving.