Wednesday, August 13, 2014

We are too distracted by our phones in Alberta to notice distracted driving is illegal.

In Alberta it is in theory illegal to drive and use your phone at the same time.  I say in theory because nobody, not police, not truck drivers, not everyday drivers follow this law.  If you were to sit next to a busy street on a lifeguard chair you would observe person after person texting, reading, emailing, talking and doing everything else under the sun when they should be paying attention to the road.  I would even bet that the very politicians who put this law in place drive while on the phone.  

The distracted driving law means well.  I have no doubt that people who use their phone and drive make mistakes which could lead to an accident.  When we drive, all of us including the police should focus on the road in front of us, not what is happening on facebook.  The problem is mobile phones have been shown to be as addictive as crack.  People need to be connected the way a junky needs their fix.  In the case of phones often this fix reaches the peak when you drive.  There you are behind the wheel, listening to music, driving safely and then the text message beep goes off.  OMG the heart starts to beat, anxiety builds, you need to see who texted you and what they said.  You know it is against the law but you can't stop yourself.  Your hands move to the right as your eyes follow.  You pick up your phone, enter the password and click on the texting icon all the while ignoring the road in front of you.  Then like the smoke of crack entering the brain the message feeds the addiction, your breathing begins to relax, heart rate lowers and for another few minutes the addiction is held at bay.  The road is safe, that is until you decide to text back and drive.  

Having a mobile phone in a car next to you is like putting some crack next to a crack addict and expecting them to not smoke the crack.  It is silly, illogical and the type of thing only a politician could dream up.  It is why the distracted driving law does not work leaving our roads full of unsafe drivers.  

Ernie is the owner, I am the iceman and together we are Ernie Iceman, two of the people behind Columbia Ice, Edmonton's ice company.  

The Iceman
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