Do we need more deterrent for using phone while driving?

Cowichan Bay – We have all seen drivers using cell phones despite the more recent laws and consequential fines when caught.

We’ve taken a position in this country that driving while impaired with alcohol or drugs should result in a consequence that is not only a deterrent to the offender but also to society at large.

That deterrent includes fines, driving suspensions and custodial time.

We’ve taken that stand as a result of the lobbies of those who have been impacted by impaired drivers, especially those advocates such as MADD. Our support is as a result of our knowledge that impaired driving was the number one killer on our roads.

Do we need to take another step for those who violate our drivingwhile-using-cell-phone laws? What would the impact be if such consequences, including automatic 24-hour driving suspensions, vehicle towing and significant driving suspensions for those who are repeat offenders?

According to a Volkswagen ad seen on Youtube, cell phone use is now the number one killer on our highways. There are many articles now on the web where this is also stated, including information that texting while driving is the number one killer of teens on the highways.

The Youtube short is worth seeing. A movie theatre in Hong Kong informed all patrons to leave their cell phones on while in the theatre. Volkswagen showed a film of a driver accelerating down the road. The film was synchronized such that all patrons’ phones rang at a specific time in the film (how?). They did ring and at the same time the film’s driver veered off the road and ran into a tree. Shocked expressions of those who answered their phones at the same time as the accident. It makes a point!

Doug Ramsfield

Cowichan Bay