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Police have charged seven distracted drivers in town this week

New laws in place mean a fine, demerit points, and license suspension for those caught driving distracted.
car and phone
Police are reminding Collingwood residents to put the phone down while driving.

Collingwood and Blue Mountains police laid seven distracted driving charges by 7 a.m. this morning. 

Constable Martin Hachey confirmed the charges this afternoon, which are part of the OPP distracted driving campaign during the March Break week. 

Driver's caught using their cell phones are now subject to tougher penalties, which took effect on Jan. 1, 2019. 

According to a press release from the OPP, the fine for distracted driving is $1,000, three demerit points, and a three-day licence suspension. Penalties increase with subsequent offences. Novice drivers don't face a fine or demerit points, but they do face a longer license suspension. 

In Collingwood and The Blue Mountains, OPP charged three motorists in the first two days of the campaign. Four more drivers were charged since then. 

"If you are operating a vehicle, avoid using a hand-held electronic device and concentrate on the task at hand which is driving," states the OPP press release. "Passengers of all ages are encouraged to take a zero-tolerance approach to distracted driving. Take charge of your own safety and speak up when you are in a vehicle being driven by someone who is not paying attention to the road and is endangering your life."