You may want to be extra mindful of Ontario's distracted driving rules this weekend. Ontario Provincial Police announced this Friday that they would be upping their road presence over the long weekend in a traffic blitz to crack down on distracted driving Ontario-wide. The initiative begins Friday, Aug. 30 and will continue through till Labour Day.

According to OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt, officers won’t just be patrolling roads. They will also be out on trails and waterways all weekend long to discourage distracted or inattentive driving. Schmidt added that 43,000 collisions have occurred on OPP-patrolled roads in 2019 and many of them were linked to distracted drivers.

“There are 26 people dead already this year because of distraction or inattention and it is not just because of cell phones, it is also just not paying attention,” OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt tells CP24.

“If you are enjoying the scenery and not realizing that traffic up ahead is slowing or if you are in your vehicle and fiddling with books or papers or foods or kids, whatever it is, you are putting yourself, your passengers and everybody else in jeopardy."

"Sadly, we are the ones who end up getting called to the aftermath, and we have to knock on doors (to notify next-of-kin). We have done that far too many times already this year," he added.

According to Newstalk610, OPP are also advising drivers that passing a school bus with its red lights flashing will cost you a fine of up to $2,000 as well as six demerit points. Distracting driving penalties come with a fine of up to $1,000, three demerit points, and a three-day license suspension.

Narcity reached out to Schmidt for more details about the weekend-long blitz. We will update the story once we hear back.

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