I have lived in Red Deer for two years and prior to that lived in two European countries and the U.S. for over 35 years, having been born in the U.K., and in none of these countries or cities therein have I come across a distracted driving law.
Whilst I am total agreement with the principles of this law, it is my opinion that the implementation of it is a total farce.
Obviously using hand-held articles such as cellphones “could” be a distraction. Fine, but since living in Red Deer it must be the No. 1 place in this country for drive through Tim Hortons when on each day thousands upon thousands of people must buy coffee and perhaps food to drink or eat whilst driving and surely this must be more of a distraction to the driver and more of a danger to other drivers and pedestrians whilst handling these commodities and therefore more of a distraction than cellphone use (lifting the cup and food to consume) as the driver either has to hold the plastic cup from the time he begins to drink until it’s finished or puts the cup in its holder, lifts the cup to drink and then returns the cup to the holder, and so on and so on until it’s empty is 10 times more distractive than handling a phone, especially if he spilled it, and I understand this is allowed. This is dumb, dumb, dumb.
They we had hundreds upon hundreds of election signs posted on all the main roads and intersections What are they for? For the drivers to become distracted taking their eyes off the road to read them. This is dumb, dumb, dumb.
Smoking could also be classed as a distraction as well, if you want to go the whole hog.
Music turned up so loud in a car that you can hear it at three car lengths even with the windows closed. This is dumb, dumb, dumb.
When recently traveling through British Columbia, I pulled off a major highway onto the shoulder, stopped the car to make a phone call. Whilst looking for the number to phone an RCMP car pulled up behind, and asked if I was in trouble. My response was that I was OK but had to make a phone call. He thanked me for stopping on the shoulder to phone and not using it whilst driving.
In addition, in the same province I noted large lit signs across the highways which said “Focus on driving. Leave the phone alone..” I thought that this was a far better way of stating the fact than posters everywhere telling people in this province that you are breaking the law and will be fined.
Quite recently there was an article in a local newspaper stating the number of road accidents that had been caused by speed, by drunken drivers and distracted drivers, the highest numbers being for speed with alcohol and distracted driving accident behind fairly equal in numbers.
Now in accident cause by excessive speed I would assume it would be fairly easy to determine the approximate speed the vehicles were travelling at, and the same going for drunken driving, but somebody please tell me, preferably the RCMP, how it can be determined if a road accident is caused by distractive driving.
There is an old saying were I come from: “The law is an …” and in my humble opinion, this law is a prime example.