At fault

Albertans are just not getting it!  Texting while driving has now replaced drunk driving as the leading cause of accidents and deaths of teenage drivers. And it’s not just teens breaking the law, 47 per cent of adults admit to texting while driving.
The Canadian Motor Association reports that a texting driver is 23 times more likely to be involved in a crash or near crash compared with someone who is focused on driving. The next most serious distraction is reaching for moving objects which makes you nine times more likely to have an accident.  Then comes talking on a cell phone which increases your chance of an accident four to five times.
The risks are high.  Distracted drivers are three times more likely to be in a crash or near crash than attentive drivers, and 20 per cent to 30 per cent of all collisions involve text messaging.
In the States alcohol-related traffic crash deaths have dropped 52 per cent since 1982, but the proportion of traffic accident fatalities that are not alcohol related has jumped 78 per cent in the same time period.
One needs to drive very little to see people of all ages and stations of life texting or talking on a hand-held phone. It’s an amazing phenomenon that many of us have experienced–that need to look and respond instantly to a ding on our cell phone.
But every time we do, we have become that drunk driver or that high-on-drugs driver.
It’s time for a radial behaviour adjustment.
We need to think long and hard about our current behaviours behind the wheel. We need to do it before we face the ultimate horror of killing or maiming an innocent person or one of our own family members.
The Alberta Government is looking to toughen up their distracted driving laws because the $172 fine has done little to curb the epidemic.  They will likely follow B.C. and Saskatchewan’s lead and assign demerit points. The potential of losing one’s driver’s license could smarten a lot of us up.
Many will scream and holler that their rights are being violated. Others will take up the mantra that Alberta is becoming a “nanny state”.
But the harsh reality is we were asked to be responsible adults with our hand held device, yet too many of us chose to be irresponsible.
With innocent lives on the line, the government has no choice but to up the punishment for violators.

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