Photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo Inc. / Antonio_DiazPhoto courtesy of © Can Stock Photo Inc. / Antonio_Diaz

U of W, Windsor police to team up on distracted driving study

A new partnership has begun with the hope of encouraging drivers to put the phone away.

Windsor police have announced a new project with the University of Windsor to study the effects of distracted driving throughout the city.

The study will be led by Dr. Francesco Biondi, a leading expert in driving behaviour. Working with him is Barry Horrobin, the director of planning and resources for Windsor police. Biondi has secured a $25,000 grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

"This project has the potential to improve safety on Windsor streets," said Biondi. "We will be able to pinpoint areas where distracted driving is most dangerous and make recommendations on how the police can address those problem areas."

Windsor police will contribute $14,000 for staff consultation, equipment, and tech support.

"This partnership with Dr. Biondi and the University of Windsor offers the Windsor Police Service an excellent collaboration opportunity to address a safety concern that exists on our local roadways," said Horrobin. "Collecting this information in a comprehensive study will create an evidence-based platform for informing future policy decisions to enhance community safety of our roadways."

Despite a strong link between crashes and distracted driving, plus heftier fines from the province, Biondi said some people still aren't getting the message. He said one in five fatal road crashes in Canada is related to someone not paying attention to the road.

The university and Windsor police are gearing up to begin the study in July. Data collection is set to take place over one year.

Read More Local Stories