Way 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.”