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McComb Witten Marcoux

It's Time We Started Shaming Distracted Drivers!

Jeffrey S. Witten, B.A., LL.B.
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Personal Injury Lawyer at McComb Witten Marcoux

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What would you say to a close friend who drinks and drivers?

I bet you’d tell them to think long and hard about the lives they endanger.

Ok, what about a friend who talks on their phone while driving? Someone who checks their emails while motoring down the highway? Or your brother who sends you a text while driving home?

What are you going to say to them?

Are you going to keep quiet? Because really, they’re not causing any harm. Are they?


Distracted driving is huge problem. And it’s about time we treated it accordingly.

That’s why I was interested to see this piece on CBC today looking at the different ways people are naming and shaming distracted drivers.

There were 51,000 tickets handed out for distracted driving in 2012 (the last year that figures were available). That same year 81 people died at the hands of distracted drivers.

That’s 81 families who’ve had their lives turned upside down.

You wouldn’t stand for it had these drivers been drunk. So why are British Columbians so accepting when it comes to cell phone use on our roads.

Part of the problem is that there’s no social stigma attached to distracted driving.

There’s no sense of shame.

It’s up to us as a society to change our thinking.

After all it doesn’t how tough distracted driving laws are, how much safety advice you hand out, or how many driver education campaigns you set up.

What really changes someone’s behaviour is their perception regarding how other people think of them.

Look at drinking and driving. We’ve finally turned the tide in the battle against drinking and driving, in large part because most folks consider it socially unacceptable.

Smoking is another example of how social pressure works.

The bottom line is that it’s time we did the same when it comes to distracted driving.

Because driving while using your cell phone isn’t just careless, it’s deadly. And we all have the power to stop it.

If you know someone who uses their cell phone while driving, say something.

If you see a motorist who’s more interested in playing Angry Birds than what’s happening on the road, take a picture.

It may not sound like much, but speaking out might just shame a driver into changing the way they think about distracted driving.

It might even save someone’s life!

Jeff Witten

McComb Witten Personal Injury Lawyers

Category: Car Accidents


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