Distracted Driving Laws Are Not Effective

Audio, Transportation, Frontier Centre

All Canadian provinces have laws in place that punish people for texting or talking on cellphones while driving.

But the rising number of tickets indicates people are just not listening.

Jurisdictions with distracted driving laws have actually seen an increase in collisions compared to similar places that have no such laws.

Police officers often catch drivers on their phones at stop lights where it is relatively safe, so drivers are tempted to dial while moving because they’re less likely to get caught.

These laws also encourage drivers to text or phone from their laps rather than at eye level, causing them to take their eyes completely off the road.

The biggest danger in all of this is that using a phone divides the driver’s focus of attention, increasing the risk of a collision.

The additional distraction of watching out for police officers only makes it worse.

In some communities, officers are posing as panhandlers to catch distracted drivers.

Rather than all this effort and expense focused on catching offenders, what’s needed is more effective education so that people have a better understanding of the dangers involved.

If Canadians do get in a collision because of driving distracted, they should be strongly penalized, but the current enforcement approach is not making things safer on the road.

I’m Roger Currie. Join us again next week for more thoughts on the Frontier.

And please visit our website www.fcpp.org.