The province of Ontario officially banned hands on cell phone use while operating a motor vehicle on our roads today. As my monthly wireless bill will confirm, I am constantly on the phone as I move between appointments. A bigger distraction for me is trying to get that plastic tab on my Tim Horton's coffee to stay folded back while I drive.
I can't help but think of this as one more step towards a world where we all must by law, function within the boundaries and limitations of the lowest common denominators in society. This morning I opened a box containing my new and now required blue tooth ear piece. Amongst all the access packaging and manuals was a small square paper package containing granules of something meant to keep humidity levels down inside of the box I presume, but on both sides of the package in big bold letter were the words DO NOT EAT.
Amongst some others, today's new hands free legislation is geared towards those who's first instinct is to eat packages of forign substances they find inside of electronics boxes. On a daily basis I pull in an out of Real Estate company parking lots filled with cars. I speak to hundreds of Realtors every year. Rarey if ever do I recall a conversation about recent road accidents. Well one involving a dear recently but I am doubtful a cell phone played any part. I have no images to call up in my memory of crunched fenders or bumpers in any of those parking lots either.
Realtors with their vital need for communication were the pioneers of multitasking behind the wheel and as such I think we developed the required skills to walk and talk, drive and talk early on in the techno revolution. I'd like to think two airline pilot friends of mine have the required skills as well to multi task on the job. My guess is they are trained specifically to do so.
Here then is an idea. Instead of road legislation that once more imposes simple broad stroke reaction to an issue, why not create a new class of drivers license for those who need to do more than one thing while driving to earn a living? Keep it to communications devices, we don't need to be queuing our ipods while driving. I would take that course if it was offered, so would the 45000 plus Ontario Realtors (do the quick math on the revenue such a course would generate for MTO just on that rather than fines for hands free violations). It would make all of us who took the course safer drivers than an all out ban is going to.
How about you.. Do you have the dexterity and mental capacity to safely talk on the phone while driving?