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670 drivers charged during Toronto police distracted driving blitz

A woman uses an iPad while behind the wheel of a vehicle stopped in traffic at a red light in downtown Vancouver on Monday, October 20, 2014. British Columbia is moving to designate distracted driving as a high risk behaviour, which will result in penalty increases for drivers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Toronto police have released the results of last week’s zero tolerance distracted driving campaign.

Police say between Monday and Sunday, officers charged 670 drivers.

During the week, police patrolled Toronto streets on foot, bicycles, unmarked police vehicles, pick up trucks, as well as on TTC buses and streetcars.

Tougher distracted driving laws came into effect across the province on Jan. 1. Drivers will now face higher fines and stiffer penalties if they aren’t focused on the road. Distracted driving includes texting, checking maps, eating, reading and even typing a destination into the GPS.

“Distracted driving continues to be a major contributor to deaths and injuries and collisions, including in particular, those involving pedestrians and cyclists,” Mayor John Tory said ahead of the blitz.

“It must become a thing of the past.”

Police say driving while holding a cell phone still happens far too often. They want to send a clear message that when you are behind the wheel, your only focus should be on driving.

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