The OPP recently declared distracted driving as the “number one killer on roads,” overtaking drinking while driving. Many Canadian provinces banned the use handheld devices while driving years ago, but the stats are still prevalent.
According to the latest survey by the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA), an average of one and six people stated they saw drivers actively texting while behind the wheel. In addition, 22% of Canadians also admitted to reading or sending a text message while driving. The survey was conducted within the last month and the results were based on 1,252 respondents.
In addition, 90% of Canadians agreed that texting while driving is “socially unacceptable.” Jeff Walker, CAA vice president of public affairs, stated, “we still need to close that gap between belief and behaviour. But we are on the right track. The next step is to make texting and driving as socially unacceptable as drinking and driving.”
“No text is worth your life or that of others,” said the Ottawa Police last December. Distracted driving, which includes using your handheld device to talk, text, email, capture pictures, or surf the web, can see fines top $280 if caught by authorities. Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne is looking to increase this fine to $1,000 and demerit points.