Ontario's Minister of Transportation Jim Bradley says the ban on hand-held cell phones and other electronic devices will go into effect this coming October, but that the police will initially be allowed some discretion in filing charges, as part of what Bradley calls an "education" period.
If Bradley's Ministry or the Solicitor-General's department which administers the police valued education at all, they would have learned from the all-too-evident academic and real-world research which proves that this entire initiative is next to worthless.
There is no doubt that such devices are major traffic hazards; the full extent of the danger they pose is only slowly becoming apparent.
But as we have stated time and again, it is not the loss of manual dexterity caused by manipulating the devices that makes callers and texters drive as badly as if they were drunk.
It is the loss of mental focus; the car may be in gear, but the driver's brain is in neutral.
What's more, the research indicates that you don't get sober the instant you hang up - the distraction can last for up to ten minutes.
This hand-held ban is therefore mere political window dressing - they should be ashamed of themselves. But they, being politicians, have a gigantic tolerance for shame, especially their own.
It is easy to say "We have to do something" or "This is better than nothing" or "It would be impossible to ban all use of such devices".
I say that anything that lets politicians off the hook, that absolves them of the responsibility of fixing the problems they were elected to fix is NOT "better than nothing".
It IS in fact "nothing".
And we don't elect these people - and pay them, very handsomely - to do "nothing".