Smartphones are increasingly an extension of our flesh and soul. For all the good of becoming one with technology, there is also plenty of bad. Namely, distracted driving.
About 26% of all car crashes involve phone use. But it isn’t just phones that lead to distractions behind the wheel. Canadians have also been pulled over and ticketed for fiddling with their GPS, vaping, dining, and putting on make-up.
And while provinces are cracking down on offenders, distracted driving remains a bane for road safety. Last year saw 1.6 million crashes attributed to mobile phone use. 1.6 million!
So, what’s the solution? This isn’t kindergarten where we can just take away the bad apples’ toys. Or maybe we can.
According to a recent Research Co. poll, 30% of British Columbians find their province’s current distracted driving fines too lenient. Nearly a quarter (70%) say repeat offenders should have their phones seized. Meanwhile, 59% think the province should double the current fine to $1,240.
There would be uproar and lawsuits and perhaps a complete breakdown of civil society, but just imagine for a second that someone caught texting and driving twice in the same week just has their phone taken on the spot. Would’t that be great?
The penalties for distracted driving vary across provinces. The harshest are in Ontario, where distracted drivers can be fined anywhere from $615 to $3,000 with three to six demerit points.