You can’t drive a couple of blocks without spotting a motorist sending out a tweet, updating their Facebook status or tracking down a Pokemon character. Statistics are showing that injuries and fatalities caused by distracted driving are starting to overtake impaired driving. No wonder politicians are looking for stronger tools in the campaign to change behaviours, however, what Quebec is proposing is going too far.
The province wants Ottawa to criminalize distracted driving . Details on how it would look are still vague but the transportation minister thinks it’s the only way to get drivers to put down the phone.
I’m just as frustrated by motorists’ need to stay attached to their devices no matter what they’re doing (don’t get me started on parents who are more interested in staying in touch with Facebook friends than their own kids) however laying a criminal charge is too much. Right now police can use the criminal code to charge a driver with dangerous driving causing injury/death in any crash.
The better approach is awareness and it has to start at a young age. School age children have to hear the message and see the tragic consequences of using a cell phone while driving. They have to be the ones to tell mom and dad to put down the phone “It’s against the law”. Such awareness will also mean a new generation of kids who aren’t tempted to stay in ‘touch’ with friends while behind the wheel.
It’s taken awhile for society to understand the dangers of drinking and driving. Let’s hope we can change attitudes towards distracted driving a little quicker.