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Some just won’t hang up

Drivers who enjoy texting and chatting behind the wheel are the targetof a crackdown on handheld devices that launched yesterday at midnight.

Drivers who enjoy texting and chatting behind the wheel are the target of a crackdown on handheld devices that launched yesterday at midnight.

For the most part, people are behaving.

“What we found today was a lot of compliance,” said Const. Hugh Smith, Toronto police traffic services. “Maybe by the end of the week when the big push tails off and people’s habits come back … we might see those numbers come back up again.”

During a two-hour city-wide blitz yesterday officers handed out warnings and close to 5,000 pamphlets, many to drivers caught using a handheld cellphone, texting or sending emails. Some people just wanted to read up on the new law, said Smith.

Until Feb. 1, drivers who break the law will get off with a warning, unless dangerous driving charges are merited, police said. Breaking the new law could net drivers up to a $500 ticket, most are expected to be $100.

At a news conference yesterday Ontario Transportation Minister Jim Bradley said although the government isn’t contemplating adding demerit points to the penalty for distracted driving, it hasn’t been ruled out.

 
 
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