Text or Call Could End It All

By Ron Fanfair, Toronto Police Service Published: 4:20 p.m. February 11, 2014
Updated: 10:06 a.m. February 14, 2014

Texting and driving could lead to serious injury or even death.

A man in Toronto Police uniform in the cabin of a car with a coffin in the background
Constable Clint Stibbe drives the hearse with a casket inside

To emphasize the distraction danger, Traffic Services launched a weeklong campaign using a hearse with a casket on board.

On the first day of the “That Text or Call Could End It All” campaign on Feb. 10, police issued 20 tickets using the hearse and two scout cars.

“When we look at impaired driving as a whole, socially we don’t accept it,” said Const. Clinton Stibbe, noting texting impairs a driver in a similar fashion. “Nobody should be driving impaired. It still occurs, but the numbers are going down. Unfortunately you end up with a lot of the same circumstances like weaving in traffic, slow reaction times and uncoordinated movements of the vehicle. These are all similar to operating a vehicle when you are impaired. The only difference in the impairment is the actual distraction or use of the device. As a result, we are trying to focus on the danger that everyone is putting themselves in and that’s the next time you answer that phone, you could end up dead.”

A man in Toronto Police uniform stands by a hearse with a TPS logo on the door
Constable Clinton Stibbe with the hearse outfitted with Toronto Police lights and logo used during the campaign

MacKinnon and Bowes lent the Service the hearse to raise awareness of the deadly issue.

“When we told them what our idea was, they were completely supportive and more than happy to supply the vehicle,” Stibbe said. “It’s part of our distracted-driving legislation campaign and we are able to use the hearse for this week. However, we enforce that legislation throughout the year.”

Fleet Services supplied the lighting and logo for the hearse.

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