A great friend reminded me the other night, over cups of Chai Tea Latte and delectable coffee concoctions at the local Starbucks, that not everyone who talks and texts while driving is a thoughtless, criminally minded $#*!, who is willfully putting other drivers’ lives in danger. Unlike drinking and driving, which has been taboo, socially unacceptable and illegal for decades; talking & texting while driving is a relatively new ‘faux pas.’
People have been chatting on cell phones while driving since cell phones first appeared on the scene when Dr Martin Cooper, a former general manager for the systems division at Motorola, who is considered the inventor of the first modern portable handset, made the first call on a portable cell phone in April 1973. This is a long-time habit for a lot of people; and like most habits, it takes time, consistent effort and determination to break. According to various sources, it can take anywhere from 30 days to 6 months to break a habit.
But, that doesn’t change the fact that this practice is illegal in British Columbia (and elsewhere) and has been since January 1, 2010…plenty of time for even the chronic talking & texting driver to have changed their ways. For new or newer drivers, they don’t have the “it’s just a habit” excuse to fall back on. The word is out, statistics are available and there is no shortage of YouTube videos to clearly, disturbingly and heart wrenchingly demonstrate the tragic consequences of talking & texting while driving as well as other forms of distracted driving. (Visit our Drop It And Drive YouTube Channel for some excellent examples.)
The thing to remember is that it’s not just about being illegal, getting fined $167, losing points or even losing your licence, it’s about people and kids losing their lives. The bottom line is that this is a very dangerous practice behind the wheel of a car or truck. It kills people…shouldn’t that be enough of an incentive to break the habit?
5 Steps to Breaking a Habit
- Be aware that you have a habit and that it has negative effects on you and others.
- You have to want to change so the effort is worth it.
- Determination and self-discipline are a necessary commitment to break the habit.
- Be prepared to consistently and repeatedly take action in order to go cold turkey.
- Don’t give up, persevere and reward yourself once you’ve succeeded.
D.I.A.D. delivers unique, high energy, interactive, no-holds-barred multi-speaker presentations to teens and young adults about the potentially fatal consequences of distracted driving. Working in partnership with the Surrey Firefighters Association Local 1271; Young Drivers of Canada and the Surrey RCMP our dynamic group of speakers is succeeding in delivering a powerful message with a combination of knowledge, experience, energy and humour.