Government of Ontario Considers Safe Texting Zones For Highway Drivers

distracted driving

Distracted driving is a growing concern across Canada, being deemed the leading cause of death on the road for the third consecutive year.

In an effort to combat the issue, government officials in Ontario are considering installing signs on highways to alert drivers of upcoming safe texting zones.

Progressive Conservative Vic Fedeli’s private member’s Bill 190, otherwise known as the Safe Texting Zones Act, passed second reading with support from all three parties. The bill has also received support from the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA), the Insurance Bureau of Canada, and the Ontario Safety League.

The signs, which would be similar to those pointing drivers to upcoming gas stations or restaurants, would be posted to inform drivers as areas where they can safely pull over and use their mobile devices. The bill would allow the Minister of Transportation to designate any part of an Ontario highway as a safe texting zone.

Ontario banned the use of a hand-held device while driving in 2009. Anyone caught doing so behind the wheel faces a minimum $490 fine and three demerit points. Increased fines are not enough to curb distracted driving habits. Fedeli says safe texting zones will save lives and help educate motorists about the dangers of texting and driving.

Do you think that dedicated safe texting zones would be enough to start changing distracting driving habits? Let us know in the comments below.

[via CBC News]

A software engineer with a passion for creation and innovation using technology. To learn more about me, check out my personal website, which contains links to my projects. Email: nick@iphoneincanada.ca

  • David

    Change people’s behaviour I am not sure about. But I have made an effort to no longer text and drive and don’t. However I do like to find places to pull over and check my email/texts so I would see this as useful. But I wonder do we need a sign for everything?

  • DonatelloNinjaTurtle

    I’m sure whoever came up with the idea will get a kickback from the company contracted to start installing these signs…

  • winnertakesteve

    we already have texting safe zones. they’re called before you start driving, and after you’re done driving, or any normal rest stop along a route. imo the core problem seems to be the compulsive need to check one’s phone at ANY given point. thats a self control issue, not a signage issue.

  • Joe

    Completely agree with Steve: the need to check the phone is compulsive and people need to exercise self control.

    However, I see this initiative as a good thing because it will reinforce the concept that checking your phone should only be done in a “safe” zone. Until everyone understands like with seat belts, we may have to resort to some dumb, common sense strategies like this. If it prevents a few accidents I’m all for it.

  • Rafael

    this is a waste of time and money, when someone want to text nothing its gonna stop them, is primordial to answer those text at the time they get it. those signals will be invisibles for the compulsion, i dont know who is the one who create those stupid nonsense solutions

  • aaloo

    I see them so frequently while driving on the highways at least in east coast USA. never pulled into one myself. I just use hands free Siri or ask the person sitting next to me to do it if it’s that urgent.