Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Texting While Driving -- Unbelievable

Canada’s largest province, Ontario, has officially banned talking and texting while driving. Effective this past Monday, the new law allows police to charge drivers fines up to $500 for yacking, texting, or surfing the net any mobile device. Justify Full

Headsets are allowed provided they are truly hands-free, and you can still use your hands for dialing the emergency number 9-1-1 while driving.

It still amazes me that anyone would try typing out a text message while driving.
Talking on the phone – although distracting – isn’t nearly as dangerous as trying to text someone while behind the wheel.

I couldn’t imagine anyone actually taking their hands, eyes, and mind off the road long enough to type out a text message.

Traffic lights can have several additional lig...Image via Wikipedia

Until I saw someone actually doing it, that is.

Ironic, the weekend before the new law prohibiting drivers from texting while driving, I see some young kid weaving in and out of traffic, all while texting.

Not to stereotype – though if the lead foot fits – it was a young Asian kid in a supped-up purple and black sports car. It even had those funky purple lights underneath the car – why anyone needs those is beyond me – maybe they hope it will distract other drivers from their poor driving abilities?

This kid – probably in his early twenties, if that – was weaving in and out of lanes, passing cars like he were in the Indy 500. He stopped at a traffic light, and I looked over at him, he was talking on one cell phone, while typing something on the keypad of another.

It’s bad enough to be on one phone, but to be using two, and driving like a maniac too boot – I hope the cops caught up with this racer, and took away his purple and black car with the purple lights underneath.

Since then, I’ve seen others texting while driving – perhaps I was more aware of these people since my run-in with the purple speed demon earlier. Saw another young person, texting while driving. She wasn’t racing in and out of traffic, but she wasn’t watching where she was going. She almost ran a red light, stopping very suddenly, all because she was too busy sending text messages on her phone.

This driver is using two phones at onceImage via Wikipedia

I know the laws in Ontario are new, but I don’t think the fines are large enough to punish those that text and talk on their mobile devices while driving.

Talking, texting, or surfing the net while on a mobile device while driving – is only different from drinking and driving in that one is chemical reaction on our biological systems, the other is just plain stupidity. Well, come to think about it, both are stupid things to do.

Far worse, you are in your right frame of mind for the most part, while using a mobile device – so you should be able to think first about the consequences of using that mobile device while driving. You should be well aware of the dangers involved. Or those dangers should become all the more evident as you attempt to talk, text or surf while driving, causing you to stop using the mobile device, or the car, or both.

Those caught using a mobile device without a hands-free set while driving shouldn’t be fined – they should be removed from the road right away.

Just as in many jurisdictions, if you have a high quantity of alcohol in your system, the police can legally confiscate your vehicle, they should do the same for those found talking, typing, or surfing on their mobile devices while behind the wheel.

If we took away a person’s license, and impounded their vehicles for this dangerous driving, then fewer people would do it, and those that did, won’t ever do it again.

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