Archived Letter – 1067

Distracted driving has been the leading cause of road deaths in Ontario for a few years now. The fines have increased to $490 for uncontested and $1,000 for contested guilty cases and yet it still goes on despite the financial and physical risks.
During several journeys between home and Fergus travelling along Highways 109 and 6 my wife and I have taken note of how many we see that are obviously texting while driving and the number has been as high as 12 and as low as 6. Some are so engrossed in their texting that they wander across the center line of the road. Twice on one trip we encountered a driver headed in the opposite direction but headed for us. I am sure we are not alone in having this experience.
I gave the matter some thought and came up with the following way of combating this dangerous practice. At least 10% of the present police cruisers should be replaced with unmarked, straight off the sales lot cars from local dealerships. The Police officers would then patrol our roads with the sole intent of apprehending distracted drivers. Not a difficult driver to spot. They usually have both hands visible at the twelve o’ clock position on the wheel and are staring at their hands, or they are looking at their naval or maybe they are gazing at and leaning towards the passenger seat. When they are traveling in the same direction they are easily detected because of the erratic steering or if they are behind you can watch them in your rear view mirror and leave them behind for several seconds when the lights you are stopped at change to green unnoticed by them.
The resulting fines collected will not only pay for the unmarked cars very quickly but will ultimately reduce the number of deaths. I think the laws could be further refined by giving a driving ban and requirement for a retest and the confiscation of the mobile device being used.

Alan Wright