What’s It Gonna Take for Drivers to Unplug?

What’s It Gonna Take for Drivers to Unplug?

In the last 72 hours, DIAD has been tapped by the media a few times:

Why you ask? Well, it’s the 2-year anniversary of BC’s ban on the use of handheld electronic devices when driving and the question is, “Is it working?” The simple answer, in our opinion, is no.

All three interviewers are interested in our thoughts about what it’s going to take to get people to put down their phones, stop texting at the wheel and in general, just pay attention to driving. There doesn’t seem to be a clear answer. The fine in BC is just $167 and possibly points depending on the offence; this doesn’t seem to be a sufficient deterrent.  On top of that, there are mountains of information available online about the risks of taking your eyes off the road, even for just a second. Based on that, I’m surprised that people aren’t dropping their electronic devices like hotcakes when they slip behind the wheel. But they’re not, and I don’t get it.

Our YouTube Channel has over 110 videos related to distracted driving and its tragic consequences, most of which are heartbreaking stories from the families and friends left behind. It’s seems to me that people are better served by learning from someone else’s tragedy than having to go through it themselves…aren’t they??

Tim, one of our speakers and newly retired fire fighter, suggests a roadside confiscation of the offending electronic device and a HEFTY fine might make an impact. That is almost certainly not going to be popular with the driving populace. But, what’s preferable, losing your phone or losing your life…or worse yet, taking someone else’s life?

One of the stories on our YouTube Channel is about 9-year-old Erica Forney killed 15 pedals from her home by a woman who placed a higher priority on her phone than on driving. Who wants to live with being responsible for killing a child?

Experiencing personal tragedy related to distracted driving seems to have the most impact, but how sad is that?! According to teachers from Japan we hosted for dinner last summer, the fine in Japan for using a handheld electronic device is $3,000 to $4,000 AND points. Not likely to ever pass legislation in BC or Canada, but according to our guests, it’s effective.

What’s in place now, in BC, to curtail distracted driving doesn’t seem to be working, so what will?

I’d be interested in hearing what you think it’s gonna take to get drivers to put down their distractions?

Surrey mom leads charge on ‘distracted driving’
By Gerry Bellett, Vancouver Sun January 4, 2012 http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Surrey+leads+charge+distracted+driving/5948110/story.html

Mother leads charge on ‘distracted driving’
Too many drivers are ignoring the ban on using hand-held devices behind the wheel, she says
By Gerry Bellett, Vancouver Sun January 5, 2012 3:46 AM http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Mother+leads+charge+distracted+driving/5949813/story.html

Lots of people still distracted behind the wheel in BC
Solicitor General says no, thinks people are still breaking the law too often
Mike Lloyd Jan 05, 2012 07:37:22 AM

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