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Driving 'a cognitive skill' not something that just happens, say police

They're going to be paying extra close attention to what you're doing in your car next week

Timmins Police officers are working to keep the roadways safe, and are looking for drivers to do the same.

The department is taking part in Canada Road Safety Week, a national campaign running until May 21.

“During this time, regular patrol officers as well as traffic officers will be paying heightened attention to the distracted driver, a person who chooses to engage in communication on a device or some other form of entertainment rather than paying full attention to the task of driving,” said Marc Depatie, Timmins Police corporate communications co-ordinator.  

“Driving is a cognitive skill, it takes all your attention to reach your destination safely. You don’t reach your destination safely by accident, it’s because you applied the requisite amount of attention to the task of driving.”

Along with distracted driving, other risk factors officers are reminding people about for the campaign are not to drive drunk, drugged, drowsy, dangerously or detached (without a seatbelt).

"We want citizens in our community to remember that impaired, distracted, and aggressive driving incidents are directly linked to collisions and, as such, are preventable. Safe roads depend on drivers being focused at the wheel and making the right decisions in traffic,” said traffic Sgt. Tom Chypyha in a statement.

According to stats from the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, which is a sponsor of the campaign along with Transport Canada, Depatie said five out of every 100,000 Canadians die due to preventable collisions every year.

“That is a statistic that we’re looking to improve on and that means that the police forces will do everything they can, but the driving population has to everything they can. If they meet us measure for measure, Canadian roadways will be that much safer, including the ones in Timmins,” he said.

Canada Road Safety Week is part of Canada’s Road Safety Strategy 2025, which has a goal of making the country's roads the safest in the world by 2025.


About the Author: Maija Hoggett

Maija Hoggett is an experienced journalist who covers Timmins and area
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