|AP FILE PHOTO|
|The issue at stake, says Jim Kenzie, is: hand-held, hands-free -- it makes absolutely no difference, any cellphone communication is dangerous.|
These days, one tidbit they are offering is that as of October 26, Ontario's ban on hand-held communications devices such as cell phones comes into effect.
However, we are also informed via other means that for the first three months, no tickets will be issued. Just warnings. Part of what the government calls an "education campaign".
What a great idea! This gives the government three more months to come to its senses.
The only education that needs doing is that the government has to educate itself to the reality of digital communications and traffic.
There's no doubt - you witness it every day - that talking and/or texting while driving is dumb and dangerous. The issue at stake here is: Hand-held, hands-free - it makes absolutely no difference.
All this stupid law does is give the cops more nuisance things to do, leaving them less time to do something useful.
There are constant complaints in our media about the brain drain, about how Canada cannot attract top-level researchers to our country.
But we HAVE some of the highest-level traffic researchers in the entire world right here at my Alma Mater, the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering at the University of Toronto, located less than two kilometres from Queen’s Park.
And what does the government do? It ignores them.
Because some of the research that proved that the oh-so-real deterioration in driving skill associated with these devices is due to the mental distraction of phoning or texting, not the reduction in physical dexterity caused by the manipulation of the devices, was done by U of T engineering faculty.
Banning hand-held devices is actually worse than useless, because it allows us (including the government and the police) to assume that we have in fact solved the problem.
The politicians pat themselves on the back and vote themselves another raise.
The cops write hundreds of tickets, easy pickings for their (official-or-not) quotas.
And because it is now "legal" to chat or text as long as you're doing it hands-free, we're probably in more danger now because such behaviour is now officially sanctioned.
This is beyond - WAY beyond - stupid.
Luckily, they do have these extra three months to figure this out. If you're going to ban in-car communications devices, DO IT. What do you think the chances are? Exactly.
If you aren't going to ban them, then deploy the cops to do something useful, like nailing left-lane bandits and red-light runners.
Can anyone explain to me why obvious stuff like this is so hard for these people to understand?