According to a new report from CBC News, more than 1200 distracted driving tickets were issued in the province of New Brunswick over the past year. The Insurance Bureau of Canada claims that three in four drivers admit to distracted driving.
Quebec Transport Minister Laurent Lessard recently started discussions to determine if the issue of distracted driving should be criminalized. His discussion was supported by two Quebec coroners who believe that distracted driving is a crime.
In the city Fredericton, there are mixed reactions about increasing the punishment from a $172.50 ticket and three demerit points, to a federal crime. Jacob McCluskey is someone who supports the idea of criminalizing distracted driving:
“You get the same thing for drinking, you’re just as distracted. There’s a lot of close calls for sure.”
Camille Lemire Ruel’s brother lost a friend to distracted driving. Here is her reaction to the idea of criminalizing distracted driving:
“I think there’s a problem with texting and driving but I don’t think it should go as far as drinking and driving. I think it’s stupid … and it’s not just young people who text and drive.”
Tom Levesque of the Insurance Bureau of Canada says that the problem stems from poor education and awareness. Levesque says that he is continuing to work with the government and law enforcement to implement better awareness and education.
Chantal Farrah of the RCMP says that people should be aware enough to make safe choices regardless of the level of punishment. She said:
“We all have a part to play to keep our province safe. Driving is a privilege and not a right.”
Do you think that criminalizing distracted driving will reduce the number of accidents on our roads? Or do you think that more education and awareness is the right path to take to reduce the number of fatalities on the road? Let us know what you think in the comments below.