The provincial law banning the use of handheld devices while driving may have come into effect last October, but Ottawa police have spent the last few months focusing on education, rather than handing out tickets.

 

That ends Monday, when police make the shift to enforcement.

 

As of Feb. 1, Ottawa police will focus their attention on distracted drivers and those who make unsafe lane changes as a part of the city’s Integrated Road Safety Program.

 

Distracted driving is the focus of the program’s public awareness campaign, Distractions Impair! Driving requires your full attention.

 

Between 2006 and 2008, driver distraction was either fully or partially attributed to being the cause of 5,490 traffic collisions in Ottawa, resulting in 1,938 injuries and eight deaths.


Unsafe lane changing is also a serious issue on Ottawa roadways, police said, causing 1,060 reportable collisions in 2008. Of these, 127 resulted in injuries.