Before mobile phones were invented, what did we do while driving? We drove! Even the very first cellular phones had speaker phones built in. Nowadays, we talk ‘n’ drive, and text ‘n’ drive! So in addition to worrying about drunk drivers and those driving under the influence of narcotics, those driving on few or no hours of sleep, we have to worry about those who just can’t stop texting, tweeting, or updating their Facebook status. Studies show that a driver using a cell phone is four times more likely to be in a crash than a driver focused on the road. A year ago, Ontario banned the use of mobile/handheld devices in cars (for our own safety) and even gave us a probation period and yet people still don’t get the message. There is no turning back the clock. There are no excuses. Many cars these days come with a built-in blue tooth system so that you can synchronize your car and mobile phone. What will happen as the devices become more and more sophisticated? One has to wonder though, how much of a deterrent is a $155 fine for being caught talking on a cell phone without the use of a hands free device? Drivers should also be aware that the Holiday RIDE Campaign for 2010 has been launched. RIDE is an acronym for Reduced Impaired Driving Everywhere.
Starting December 1, 2010:
- Drivers caught with a blood alcohol level (BAC) level of 0.08
- Or those who fail a breathalyzer test will have their vehicles impounded on the spot
- Vehicles will not be returned for 1 full week
- This applies if you lend your car to someone who is caught driving impaired
- You will lose your car for 7 days and pay the cost of towing and impounding
There is simply no excuse for drinking and driving, just as there is no excuse for distracted driving. For statistics, safety tips and advice, visit the Ministry of Transportation and learn about provincial initiatives including RIDE, MADD and DRIVE SOBER. Gluckstein Personal Injury Lawyers LLP is a Toronto based personal injury law firm specializing in car accidents.