Cellphone Drivers Still Not Getting the Message

Posted: 2nd February 2011 by Luc "Sandman" G. in Soapbox

It appears as though Ontario drivers are not getting the message. The OPP released numbers stating that they gave out almost 46,000 tickets last year to people who were using their cellphones while driving. At 155$ a ticket, that added 713,000$ to the coffers. The statement also didn’t say if this included all tickets, including from municipal police forces like Ottawa Police. Regardless, this high number clearly shows that a majority of Ontario drivers don’t care about this law, and don’t care that their carelessness could easily cut a life short.

When talking on a cellphone, or texting, using an app or any other activity that can be done on a cellphone/smartphone, you’re taking away from your concentration and are putting the lives of everyone around you at risk. Without exaggeration, every time I get behind the wheel I see at least one driver using a cellphone; a soccer mom with 4 kids in the back seats of the minivan, a worker driving a company truck, a 70 year old man driving 60 in the fast lane on the Queensway, all blabbing away.

Studies have shown that using cellphones behind the wheel reduces your reaction time even worse than someone who’s drunk. So why do people continue to do so? Education seems to not be making any difference. I think that the fines and penalties need to be increased. The fine should be in the 400-500$ range, and drivers should lose 2 demerit points. Get caught a 2nd time and lose your license for a month or more. If the driver is driving a company van, not only should the driver be fined 400-500$, but the company should also be fined 1000 plus dollars. This would encourage companies to educate their drivers to not use cellphones while driving, and the stiffer penalties would hopefully make most people think twice before grabbing that cellphone while driving.

30 years ago or so it wasn’t illegal to drive drunk. Cooler heads prevailed and now not only is it illegal, very few people do not find it immoral. Hopefully it won’t take that long for people to realize how much of a danger it is to use a cellphone while driving.

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