POLICE ASSOCIATION OF NOVA SCOTIA 21 Traffic Study Indicates Cell Phones Still Abused By Debbi Harvie When the new cell phone ban came into effect April 1, prohibiting motorists in Nova Scotia from using a hand held cellular device while driving, many motorists began abiding by the new law. A recent survey on East River Road in New Glasgow, however, indicates that four months later, people are less conscious about abiding by the law. “The number of cell phone infractions has increased; it may simply be due to the fact that people think they won’t get caught, they think it’s not being enforced or they have just forgotten about the law and it is a habit, as common as turning on the stereo in the car,” says Const. Ken MacDonald of New Glasgow Police Service. The survey was conducted by summer students at New Glasgow Police Service. The survey, over four days last month at a busy intersection involved one hour each day during the lunchtime rush. Students counted the number of vehicles driving through the intersection and recorded the number of drivers using their handheld cell phones while driving. Out of a little more than 3,000 vehicles, 56 people over the four days were recorded using the devices while driving. Originally Published August 6, 2008 Pictou Advocate Truro Cops Cruisin’ in Style Vehicles win second place in beauty contest Truro police service’s cruisers came in second for best looking police vehicle in a national contest featured in Blue Line Magazine, a monthly law-enforcement publication. “My Assistant put the magazine on my desk Monday and pointed out the contest,” Truro Police Chief David MacNeil said. “I said our new detailing on our cruisers was just as good as the first-place winner, and my assistant agreed.” He paused. “Then we opened the magazine and saw our vehicles were tied for second place across Canada,” Chief MacNeil said with a laugh. The Truro cruiser’s white body with swooping black and blue lines across the sides tied with the Sûreté du Québec vehicle, and the first-place winner was the York Regional Police (Ontario) cruiser. The Quebec and Ontario designs also incorporate bands of colour as distinguishing marks. “Truro was recognized for its sweeping graphic design and excellent use of a drop-shadow effect while still maintaining readability,” the article says. The design was devised with help from a local sign company, Vi-Tech Signs. “They did a really good job on the vehicles, and we’re really pleased with the design,” Chief MacNeil said. By Mary Ellen MacIntyre Truro Bureau “That’s a very high number in terms of traffic safety,” says MacDonald. MacDonald says the reason the law was put into place was because cell phones have been attributed to causing motor vehicle collisions because they cause a distraction for the driver. “The Highway Safety Research Center conducts traffic studies across North America and found people using cellular devices are two times as likely to be involved in a motor vehicle collision than someone not on a cell phone because it creates a distraction,” says MacDonald. He says many people will come to a stop sign and begin talking on their cells. Although the car is not in motion, it doesn’t mean you can use your phone at a light or stop sign. “We encourage people to pull to the side of the road when and where it is safe,” he says. Under the MVA, a first offense for using a handheld cell phone while driving is a fine in the amount of $164.50, a second offence is $222 and a third and subsequent offences are $337.