Look, Ma! No hands!

driving-cellphoneWay back in April, the province of Ontario passed a law that would make it illegal for drivers to dial, talk, text or e-mail on hand-held devices or to operate iPods or GPS units not secured to the vehicle’s interior. On October 26, that law went into effect.

I’m not sure exactly who is paying attention to the law at this point because every other vehicle I pass on the road contains a driver who is talking on his/her cell phone. No doubt a police officer’s conversation with a pulled-over driver would go something like this:

“I’m sorry, Officer,” said the pulled-over driver. “I haven’t seen or heard six months worth of TV or print or radio or Internet or direct mailing advertisements notifying me of the law going into effect. Nor have I seen the giant digital road signs on the QEW and every other highway flashing the message ‘NO TALKING, TEXTING OR E-MAILING WHILE DRIVING AFTER OCTOBER 26. IT’S THE LAW!’”

Of course, all the continued chattiness is probably due to the three-month grace period. After February 1, watch out! Drivers can receive a penalty of up to $500 if caught using a hand-held device.

I suppose the law a good idea. I’ve seen Ontario drivers in action. They’re crazy. Two raindrops fall, and traffic freaks out. Now imagine two snowflakes falling. Perhaps drivers and passengers will be safer. I, however, will miss driving and chatting. I was getting really good at driving while chatting or texting, scribbling notes and sipping a coffee. All at the same time.

These days, many a driver use hands-free devices. Car manufacturers are growing wise and making them part of their models. In essence, they seem like something that would make driving safer. After all, you’re not using your hands.

Unless you’re one of those drivers who constantly fidget with your counsel, pushing buttons to make you “hands-free” phone dial the right number. If that’s the case, please refrain from driving next to me. Please and thanks.

On a completely unrelated note, I recently passed my new favorite flashing road sign. This one is in Michigan and reads: “Fall is here. Don’t veer for deer.”

Solid advice.

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17 thoughts on “Look, Ma! No hands!

  1. sartenada says:

    I liked Your text very much. To use iPhones while driving is also prohibited here in my country. But, what is not prohibited, is that one can change pullover while driving on highways. I really saw once a guy when he changed his pullover on highway at the speed of 74.5 miles/h when driving. Guess if I was surprised.

    Have a nice week.

  2. Aadil Pitafi says:

    When you text while driving, you’re risking your life. Or at least that’s what I think. In the big cities in Pakistan, there are road signs telling you not to use your cell phone while driving, but it’s not a law, so the police won’t even touch you if they saw you using your cell phone while driving.

    I think that Ontario has passed a really good law. Well done!

  3. Ricardo Pizarro Iturrieta says:

    I’m surprised the attitudes of some drivers that despite all the propaganda on TV, persist in driving while talking on the c-phone, a police report indicating their recklessness is little to the effects of a potentially fatal accident, I applaud your article

  4. SilverTiger says:

    Using a mobile while driving is prohibited in the UK too but you see it being done all the time and hardly anyone gets pulled over by the police. The only time it counts is when someone is injured or killed and investigation shows that the driver was talking or texting on the phone at the time. By then, it’s too late.

    I used to think that it was OK to use a hands-free while driving. After all, it’s no different from talking to a passenger, is it? I eventually learnt two things, firstly, that talking even on a hands-free takes valuable attention away from your driving and, secondly, that talking to a passenger while driving isn’t all that safe either.

    On today’s crowded roads, a driver needs every ounce of attention s/he can muster. If I were in charge I would ban the use of any form of phone while driving, whether hands-free or not, and I would organize a blitz on drivers breaking the law to make the point. People are being killed out there by drivers using phones.

    I no longer drive but if I did, I would turn my phone OFF for the duration of the journey.

  5. Yay for Ontario! Rhode Island is currently making texting while driving illegal. I can currently think of two accidents recently due to cell phone use. In one, a guy actually hit a parked police car on the side of the highway while texting and driving. What an idiot.

  6. Paul says:

    Before I left California (I no longer own a car), I was used to doing many things while I drove. I hate to admit it, but I would not have a problem with texting while at a stop light, or talking on the phone while driving. Then the law was passed, and I didn’t find that ceasing these activities was that big of a deal. Just wait until you get to wherever you’re going, or, if you have a passenger with you, give the phone to them, and tell them what you wish to text.

    Also, I saw the movie “Seven Pounds” and learned that texting while driving can be bad. I think that might have been the main lesson they were trying to teach with that film.

  7. SallyK says:

    Ask yourself when you reach for that phone while driving, what is so important that it is worth your life or someone else’s – leaving your children or theirs parentless – that phone call can wait. North Coast Muse @ http://sally.1029.wordpress.com

  8. Sparky says:

    Just one more reason why Ontario is a nanny state. What’s next, making me set my radio to the CBC while driving?

  9. Andrew Bryan says:

    Next thing they will do is ban video game playing while driving! Watch out!! Big brother knows all … Big brother sees all… Stop touching me!!! The spiders are everywhere!!!

  10. azizmoummou says:

    Hi:
    I love your blog,I’m an English teacher .I’d love to invite my students to join your blog.Mine is : hellochichaoua.wordpress.com
    All the best,
    Aziz

  11. Melissa darroch says:

    thats a good sign I saw one the other day As I was passing and Prison saying “please don’t pick up hitch hiker. “

  12. Yeah, as easy as it may seem sometimes, talking and texting on the phone while driving could be very dangerous. I think a lot of people just don’t realize it until something actually happens!

  13. Whew! Finally, a quick, entertaining, informative read. Thanks.

    WordPress can be life-consuming if you don’t watch it. But I love it to death.

  14. pile-Driver says:

    safe driving should be forst and foremost

  15. perfectflights125 says:

    Great Post..!!
    http://www.perfectflights.org.uk

  16. I agree.

    We should practice safe driving

  17. ostrov says:

    Thank you,
    very interesting article

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