Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Distracted driving

Here in Ontario, there is a law that you cannot use a mobile device while driving a vehicle, otherwise you will be fined. I think that this law is great because you do see so many people talking on their mobile devices or reading and/or sending messages which are dangerous while driving.

Last week, on the radio, they were talking about an undercover cop that was at an off-ramp to a highway. He was holding a sign wishing everyone a good day or something like that. He wasn't begging for money or anything like that, he was just walking along the ramp. Of course, he was looking for people that would start looking at their devices once they stopped at the light. If he spotted someone, of course they would get a ticket for texting while driving. People were mad about this happening, but so many people just don't pay attention to where they are.

Hearing about this cop made me pay a little more attention to our surroundings when we were driving over the weekend. Now, the interesting thing is I spotted a cop standing beside his vehicle in a gas station lot just off the road at an intersection. He looked like he was looking for someone, and of course he was. The light was red for us, so we had a sit for a couple of minutes until the light turned green again. During this time something seemed to catch the attention of the officer and just before the light changed he walked out and waved a vehicle over into the lot. I guess he was watching for people using their mobile devices, and he did get someone, I think.

Last Saturday, I then saw two individuals on their mobile devices. One was a man who was clearly looking at their device while driving along a road. He wasn't just doing it while at a traffic light, but while driving around 60 km along the street. I noticed him because he seemed to like the centre line instead of staying in the middle of his lane. He proved he wasn't paying attention when a light changed to amber, and he drove right through the light. It was upsetting to me because this man had children in his vehicle while he was doing this. He may have been getting directions, but the amount of time he had his head down was what caught my attention.

The second individual was a lady that was on her mobile device. She was checking it at every traffic light and in some cases was a little slow in pulling away from the intersection. She wasn't as bad as the man, but you could tell she was on her device.

People have to understand that driving takes all of your attention, not just a portion of it. Your mobile devices should be put away while you are driving. If the message or call is so important, pull off the road and deal with it. Your message isn't more important than my life or even your life.

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