With the string of vehicular accidents in Canada caused by distracted driving, citizens believed it is about time to consider the behaviour liable for a criminal offense charge complete with stiffer penalties.
According to statistics from Transport Canada, fatal collisions in the country from 2006 to 2010 that were triggered by distracted driving grew 17 per cent, or from 302 deaths to 352.
Teresa DiFelice, the director of communications for the Canadian Automobile Association's South Central Ontario chapter, defined distracted driving as "reaching over for something, putting on makeup, shaving, reading the newspaper, and trying to reach for things for a child" among others.
"These are all forms of distraction."
And of course, texting while driving continued to be the main cause of distraction.
"Distracted driving has always a major factor in collisions, but it's been a result of electronic technology that has really brought it to the forefront," Pierre Chamberland, Ontario Provincial Police Sgt, told CBC/Radio-Canada.
"Ever since those damned things came in, there's been distractions. It's getting worse and worse and worse," Tim Baillie, a retired Surrey, B.C., firefighter, said.
Just last week, famed filmmaker Werner Herzog released a mini 30-minute documentary that specifically tackled texting behind the wheel. As expected, it not only made the social media rounds, it likewise opened a wave of emotions.
Titled 'From One Second to the Next,' Mr Herzog's documentary showed not only the suffering victims, but those of the perpetrators as well. "Ordinary people who find themselves, in the midst of a momentary and mundane act, suddenly responsible for the deaths of innocent people," according to PolicyMic.
A poll conducted by CBC/Radio-Canada had readers suggesting distracted drivers who got involved in collisions should be prosecuted with the same intensity as that of a drunk driver.
"I think anyone found texting or on their cell phone while driving should have their car impounded, their license revoked for a month and all other cars that may be registered to the family impounded," reader Brendaat54 suggested. "Drivers must learn, or at least some drivers, that their vehicle can kill if not carefully controlled."
"Maybe they can also take demerit points away for distracted drivers: first time offence, two demerits plus $500 fine," Raven60 added.
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