RE.: ‘Everyone Wins with Flynn’s Bill’ (Editorial, October 14, 2006)
The Hamilton Spectator,
Saturday, October 21, 2006

I interviewed MPP John O’Toole prior to the second reading of his bill, and more recently I interviewed MPP Kevin Flynn. Indeed their efforts are noble and of a worthy cause.

I tend to agree with the N.D.P. that Flynn’s bill discriminates against young people. A deeper look into causes of crashes will show that the greater number of people who are not teens tend to be in collisions involving the use of handheld electronic devices. Be it a cellphone, a BlackBerry or MP3 players, it is in use by all.

Whether speeding, failing to stop at stop signs, talking on cellphones or any other the action, it is unfortunate that the general population, while driving, takes the attitude that it is illegal only if you are caught.

These proposed laws are well intentioned but regrettably are unenforceable.

Too many people misbehave. To enforce these laws would be an immensely expensive exercise for the police. It is another example of making a law that cannot be enforced.

Under the Highway Traffic Act there are charges for careless driving and/or undue care and operation of a motor vehicle. This is almost a blank cheque that the investigating officer can use in charging an offender. Is this enough? Maybe. However this is not a pre-emptive action but an after-the-fact when an offense has already been committed.

We are in an age where many new drivers have not known a world without these electronic devices. The only real and lasting solution is to get it into peoples’ heads that driving is a skilled task requiring constant care and concentration. Regrettably this step cannot be legislated.

Dez Miklòs jr., Hamilton, host of “Say Dez” on CFMU radio show about safe driving and associated themes