The introduction of a bill to ban cell phone use in cars is well past its time in Ontario.
As News of the bill being presented at Queen’s Park hit the street, large retailers fired off News releases about the availability of hands-free options for drivers. While those accessories help keep two hands available for the wheel, they miss the mark on why a ban is needed in the first place. Drivers need to pay attention to what they are doing.
Like other people in Ontario, we use a cell phone far too much, and yes, much of that use is in the car, navigating between appointments. Our consistent excuse has been time management, but upon reflection, if we planned the day a little better before it started, there would be little need to make appointments on the fly, or to remind people about certain tasks for the day back at the office.
Admittedly, our time on the phone is a distraction. Couple that with the sneak peeks at e-mails that rush in every so many minutes, and clearly the distraction has grown too great not to offer the observation that our attention at the wheel is not what it should be.
Having driven all over parts of North America, we have seen firsthand the misuse of cell phones. Just the other day one driver seemed to slow down and speed up as the conversation took turns up and down. It is that habit of talking for the sake of talking that has forced the need for a legislated end to cell phone use behind the wheel. There have been numerous times on highways where animated arm waving and yelling have accompanied young drivers barreling down the road. What could be that important, to be that distracting to a driver?
Some drivers now pull over to take their calls, but really, on busy highways, that is a recipe for larger troubles. Now that a new law is around the corner, perhaps it is time to park the cell phone while driving. Common sense would suggest no call is worth an accident or unsafe driving.