The Ontario Government website has a whole page dedicated to the Distracted Driving Law that is now in effect. Simply put, it is illegal to talk, text, type, dial, or email while driving… and for good reason. “Research shows that drivers who use cell phones are four times more likely to be in a collision than drivers who focus on the road. And when drivers take their eyes off the road for more than two seconds, their crash risk doubles.”
If caught, the fine will range from $225 to $500. If others are endangered because of this type of distraction, a charge of careless driving is inevitable. The penalties for that are more severe: six demerit points, fines up to $2,000, a jail term of six months, up to a two-year license suspension. There is even a possibility that a charge of dangerous driving – a criminal offence – could be handed out. This comes with a jail term of up to five years.
The threat of fines and demerit points is one thing, but what should be paramount in everyone’s mind is the true danger of injuring (or worse) ourselves and others. The risk is high -yet many adults continue to keep their phones within reach while driving.
According to CAA, four-million motor vehicle crashes in North America every year are due to distracted drivers.
In this age of multi-tasking, our society has incorporated driving into the mix. Instead of taking those few minutes it takes to drive home or work or wherever to pay attention to the immediate world around us, we insist on checking emails, texting, and answering calls. This whole ‘being in the loop at all times about everything’ is not healthy. And it puts our lives at risk.
Turn off your phone. Put it away. Toss it in the back seat. Take a much needed break from the deluge of digital information. This one small act could save your life.