Police say it’s time to put your phones down for good.

The OPP is launching a distracted driving campaign next week in hopes to significantly decrease the amount of inattentive driving charges and fatalities in Haliburton and across the province. OPP Central Region Staff Sgt. Peter Leon says the main focus of the campaign is to keep the community safe. 

Leon says that you can expect to see patrolling officers on most roadways during the blitz from March 12 to 18, but also states OPP will always have an eye out for distracted drivers in order to prevent further charges, collisions and fatalities.

According to officials, distracted drivers were the cause of 83 road fatalities on OPP-patrolled roads in 2017, which surpasses the 75 speed-related deaths reported, and alcohol/drug-related deaths as well as seatbelt-related deaths.

Nearly 700 people have died as a result of inattentive driving since 2009 and the OPP is reporting distracted driving is the leading cause of death on provincial highways for five years straight.