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October 2008
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Are You Distracted While Driving?

Yesterday the official announcement came through in Ontario that legislation would be put forward banning cell phone use in vehicles. Officially it will be voted on as Driver Distraction Legislation such that not only cellphones and smart-phones are included but also portable DVD players, laptops and personal gaming systems.

Ontario follows behind Quebec, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador; Newfoundland  began banning cell phone use back in 2003.

What about stoplights?

No. Don’t try using your device their either. Phone or device distraction seems to be higher in intersections. Have you ever been at an intersection with a green light and wondered why no one was moving? Did you then look to your left or right and see someone using a portable device?

The evidence is there to support this legislation. With a four-fold increase in collision risk it is time for us to limit the distractions in the car. Add to that new technological developments (many cars now come with built-in blue tooth hands-free devices) and it is possible to communicate hands-free.

The Ontario legislature will depate the bill in the coming months. Look for changes but also expect to the Driver Distraction Legislation to be in affect within the next year.

Comments

Comment from David
Time October 29, 2008 at 10:19 pm

I guess the facts are the facts, and if it makes the streets a safer place, then that’s great,, however, personally I will be inconvenienced by this new legislation. I spend a lot if time in the car, and am on the phone for most of that time.

Maybe you can let me know what “dash mounted’ means. Do I have to get rid of my new GPS that’s stuck to my wind shield? (’cause that’s what I understood from a show I heard on CBC)

Comment from Sasha
Time October 30, 2008 at 12:44 pm

There has not been much press on what dash mounted means. But if dash mounted means that it has to be built into the car, expect a huge backlash from companies like Garmin.
Older vehicles are unlikely to have GPS built into the car so there is a need for the units.
The bill is just entering legislature so there is much still up for debate. I think the lack of clarity on these GPS units will be a point of concern as it comes to legislature. From what I understand though, as long as it is mounted that you will be allowed to use the GPS system in your car. I guess the final debate will where the unit must be mounted.