Thanks to all of you who have replied to and commented on my rant on hand-held versus hands-free cell phones. Given the dead-slow Internet access I am still suffering through out here at Kenzie World Headquarters (I thought the Rogers USB Rocket Stick was the answer to my prayers; it wasn't) it is very difficult for me to even post all the comments, but I am trying.
The rant also appeared in the print edition of Wheels Saturday, and generated another big response.
Some of you agree with me; some don't. Hey - that's what makes life interesting.
I did get a call from Dr. Bob Saturday night. One of my best friends from toddler stage, he became my kids' dentist. Hadn't spoken to him in a while, but he called after reading the piece in Wheels to report - HE WAS ONE OF THEM.
He was driving down from his summer place on Georgian Bay, chatting with his daughter on his Bluetooth-equipped hands-free cell phone. He was driving through a small town he has driven through a million times. He knows the speed limit here is 50 km/h. He always obeys it.
But when he glanced down at the speedometer, he was going 70. He hadn't been paying attention because he was on his phone.
On his hands-free phone.
He got away with it on two levels: He wasn't nabbed for speeding; and he wasn't involved in an incident.
But when he got home and read my story, he realized that this is exactly what I was talking about.
He was Exhibit A for the prosecution, namely that inattention behind the wheel is not a function of manipulating a device; it is a function of lack of mental engagement.
As such, the ban on hand-held devices is doomed to be political grandstanding, with little to no material benefit.
OK, maybe a few people won't text while driving. But if they were ever stupid enough to think that was acceptable behaviour behind the wheel, the (very low) threat of a ticket isn't likely to stop them.
Also, distractions like touch-screen SatNav are not covered by this law.
Some argue that this law is better than nothing.
If it is, it is only extremely marginally so.
There are vastly more important safety issues we should be charging our road designers, sign painters, lane marking painters and police with fixing and enforcing.
Let them get on with it and stop wasting our time and tax money.