The United States is not the only country attempting to get a handle on the problem of distracted driving. Canada is also cracking down on the dangerous habits of drivers, and one province, British Columbia, is reporting that new laws are saving lives and reducing traffic fatalities.
Though most provinces have laws prohibiting or at least restricting the use of cell phones and other hand-held devices when driving, the effectiveness of such laws is still in question. The same argument seems to apply the world over: it is simply too difficult for police to nail violators and make the charges stick. This argument might not be completely sound, though.
Government officials in British Columbia say fatalities related to distracted driving fell by 12 percent from February 2010 to July 2011. Serious injuries also went down. The government stated that police issue more than 47,000 tickets to people for using hand-held devices while driving, including 1,300 motorists who were texting behind the wheel.
The high number of tickets seems excessive, but with each ticket the public sees that authorities are serious about the issue. Education is vital in changing behavior. It will take some time before people truly understand how much danger they are putting themselves, and everyone around them, in by driving distracted.
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