It's a familiar sight, someone stopped at a red light, head down, looking at their lap. However, the Estevan Police Service is hoping to curb that habit by cracking down on distracted driving, specifically driving while using a cellphone.
"Once again, we're seeing an increase in the number of motorists that just can't seem to put their phone down," explained Chief of Police, Paul Ladouceur. "So we are starting to crack down on that once again."
"This is a concern. It's as dangerous, in my view, as impaired driving when someone is sitting there, looking at their phone or trying to text and drive. I can't count the number of times, even when I'm off duty, in a personal vehicle, where I pull up at a red light and someone has their head buried in their phone. They think they are being discrete because they have it on their lap or they have it low down, and really it's quite easy to see. So we are going to be cracking down on it once again."
This time, the police hope to use a little more creative means to catch distracted drivers.
"We are going to be having members, maybe a member on a street corner in plain clothes, looking into those cars at the red lights just to validate that the person is actually on their phone because this is a dangerous, dangerous practice. And I think people don't realize it until it's too late."
"I've seen cars drift over centre lines. We've investigated fatalities. I can tell you, in my career I've investigated various fatalities as a result of texting a driving. You can not have your phone down be texting or talking on a phone and be paying attention at the wheel, it just doesn't happen. So this is a reminder to the public to put the phone down."
He adds that there is no excuse to be on a phone and driving.
"It takes two seconds to pull over if you want to answer a text or go on the the phone. Obviously if you're doing a lot of talking on the phone, hand-free devices are available. They've come down quite a bit in price, you can pick them up at any electronics store and put one in your car, and you can talk as much as you want."
He leaves it with one more simple statement:
"If you're caught with a phone in your hand, you're going to get a ticket, it's that simple."