Canadians are More Worried Than Ever About Texting and Driving

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The majority of Canadians say texting and driving is getting worse, despite moves by law enforcement to crack down and extensive public education efforts, a new poll finds.

More than four out of five Canadians (83 per cent) believe texting while driving is a bigger problem today than it was three years ago, according to the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) poll released on Dec. 29.

“Despite anti-texting and driving laws in all provinces across the country and several years of public education campaigns, Canadians still don’t seem to be getting the message,” said CAA National chief strategy officer Jeff Walker.

Texting and driving is tied with drunk driving as the top road safety concern among Canadians, according to CAA’s poll.

A whopping 96 per cent say that drivers who text and drive are a threat to their personal safety on the road.

CAA has been tracking what worries Canadians when it comes to road safety for several years.

Texting while driving broke into the top 10 list of concerns in 2011.

Nearly seven years later, Canadians’ view on the danger of texting and driving continue to get worse.

“Studies show drivers are as much as 23 times more likely to get into a collision when they text and drive,” said Walker.

“It’s important we all put our devices down and stay focused on the road.”

Canadians also believe other forms of distraction are increasingly an issue, such as emailing while driving, drivers talking on cell phones and drivers talking to/engaging with their in-car technologies.

Peel police say distracted driving impacts the entire community.

A 16-week blitz which ended last month saw 400 charges laid for driving with a handheld communication device, with another 150 charges for various Highway Traffic Act offences.

"Your distraction becomes everyone's problem,” said Peel Regional Police Const. Bancroft Wright.

“The text can wait.”

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