Just to remind some of you….This Sunday is the start of the VC3C special event station. As previously mentioned I will be operating the 2m/70cm/6m station from the Champlain Lookout on Sunday June 1st. Hope to hear you there….
In the Canadian Media there are notes about the Premier of Ontario wanting to bring stronger penalties to those “Distracted Drivers”. This would be those of us who talk on a cell phone, play with our GPS, Text Message while driving, look behind to the back seat to corral the kids or the dog, look down at the road map, try and figure out how to change CDs in the new player. I should mention also it could apply to Amateur Radio Distractions as well…
A direct quote from the Premier is:
McGuinty said he’s spoken with police about cracking down on people who drive while talking on their phone. The police told the premier the law needs to reach further than just cell phones.
“What about people who tapping on the GPS system? What about people who have road maps open on the steering wheel while they’re driving? What about the next gadget that hasn’t been invented yet?” McGuinty said the police asked him.
Between having a pet in the car, finding a song on an iPod or texting on a Blackberry, there are a number of distractions to drivers that can easily lead into a serious accident, said the premier. “
Details of the proposed bill are not available at this time but I think it could be good idea. Not only are some cell phone users easily distracted but so are some amateur operators.
How many time have we heard a ham say ” I better let you go for now so I can concentrate on the traffic! ” The bigger question is how many times SHOULD we have heard that phrase?
Now one item that concerns me and I’m sure it will be looked at is that there is a difference between driving while distracted and causing an accident while driving distracted….
If I answer my cell phone, put it on hands free and then have my conversation am I distracted? I have both hands on the wheel… I’m just talking to a person who just as easily could be a passenger in my truck or car.
If I have a mike in my hands talking to you on a 2m repeater am I distracted? I’m not changing frequencies…Just talking on a radio THE SAME AS ALL OF OUR POLICE OFFICERS, FIREFIGHTERS, AMBULANCE/PARAMEDICS do on a daily basis.
To define “Driving while distracted” will be hard to do…To charge someone with causing an accident while driving distracted is like closing the gate AFTER the horse has gotten out!
I understand the intent of what the Premier is trying to do….I actually agree with the principal…
The premier is not picking on any one group (including Amateurs) but more saying that driving a vehicle in the Province is a job that requires 100% of your concentration. We can still use our toys, we can still read a map, we can still quiet the kids or the dog…just pull over to the side of the road to do it. Please!!!! After all I might be in the car thats approaching you and I don’t want to meet you by accident.
Check out the CTV Website for more details
Check out the CFRA Website for more details
Check out the CBC Website for more details
Now keep in mind that given the fact that this is not law yet, and it takes time to get anything done even with a majority goverment in Ontario…It could take a bit of time…