The poster for the new 'Park the Phone' campaign.

The poster for the new 'Park the Phone' campaign.

Hands on the wheel, eyes on the road

The District of Fort St. James and the Fort St. James Transportation Committee are rolling out a new driver education campaign.

The District of Fort St. James and the Fort St. James Transportation Committee are rolling out a new driver education campaign.

The initiative is meant to spread awareness about the dangers of distracted driving, with all of the new drivers in town and the increasing traffic.

“We just thought it would be a nice education place to go,” said Gretchen Vogelsang, a committee member.

The pledge campaign was originally planned to begin back on Canada Day, but was delayed until after the summer.

The campaign has now kicked off and drivers can sign a pledge form to “park your phone” before you drive. Those who make the pledge will be entered to win a hands-free device donated by The Source.

According to the Canadian Automobile Association website, drivers engaged in text messaging are 23 times more likely to be involved in a crash or near crash event compared to non-distracted drivers.

According to ICBC, distracted driving leads to an average of 94 deaths per year in B.C..

The District of Fort St James Office, Integris Credit Union and some other local businesses have the pledge sheets for people to sign.

The plan is “to raise awareness, because it’s still a large problem, not just here, but all over,” said Vogelsang.