5 Ways to Get a Distracted Driving Ticket…Fast
We are all guilty of pushing other people’s buttons at times. When you were younger, you may have reached into the cabinets your parents told you to stay away from – you might even do that now with your spouse and their secret stash (ie. Vodka, sour patch candy). But on a grander scale, a lot of us do things that would send a police cruiser our way in a matter of seconds. The biggest offense a lot of us are guilty of is breaking the distracted driving law by means of phone use. You’re most likely aware that the laws are now incredibly strict about drivers distracting themselves behind the wheel, yet many people just don’t care. So in this post, we’re going to help those of you who are bent on pushing a police officer’s buttons.
Let it Ring: Ontario Tightens Laws on Driving While Using Phones
With the advent of every new form of technology, there’s the potential for it to cause serious damage. Cell phones, which we’ll discuss in further detail shortly, are a great example of this. They revolutionized the way we communicate and there’s no denying how convenient they’ve made our lives. And no one can dispute their use in emergency situations.
However, think about all of the damage they’ve caused. For many drivers, phones have replaced the windshield as what drivers should be looking at. And it goes without saying that scores of people have died, or suffered severe disability because of distracted driving. Countries all over the globe are starting to crack down on this behaviour, in effect, trying to rid their streets of unresponsive text-addicts.
Here in Ontario, a new distracted driving law has been put in place as of September 1st, 2015, and they’re as tight as a boa constrictor wrapped around a mouse. Of course, the only thing these regulations are trying to squeeze the life out of is the deadly habit of using a mobile device while driving. The government has handed out new consequences to counteract the rising number of fatalities caused by careless drivers – a number that may surpass drunk driving deaths in 2016.
Ontario’s Revised Law in 3 Points
- Drivers caught using a mobile device face a $490 fine
- Along with the fine, drivers will receive three demerit points upon conviction
- Those with just a G1 or G2 license can face a 30 day license suspension
If you’ve got a clean record, why would you want to blemish it with the above-mentioned penalties for the sake of answering a nagging text? And if you already have a conviction on record, why add to it? Your insurance company will happily jack your premium up, or drop you if they’re tired of covering your risk-taking antics. Most importantly, why risk changing your life or the lives of others just to type “lol”. It’s not worth it. But if none of this matters, you’ll be on the fast track to getting a ticket.
Hold the Phone
The fastest way to get a distracted driving ticket is to use your phone while behind the wheel. Doing it blatantly will get you the fastest results. However, you can get an officer to pull you over if you spend too much time looking into your lap. The goal here is to not look straight. And don’t worry if it doesn’t happen right away – it’ll happen one day soon.
5 Phone Distractions that Get Drivers a Quick Ticket
- Txt like it’s np – When their best friend, girlfriend/boyfriend/wife/husband, or family members text them, they don’t wait. They respond right away as if it were a 911 call that needs immediate action. After all, there’s no time like the present.
- Accept the call – When it rings, the driver answers. They hold the phone to their ear since a hands-free set would take too much time to set up. They argue that a leisurely conversation will help them pass the time, not caring their actions will pull an officer toward them like bait does to fish.
- Update, Upload – Some people assume that their instagram followers can’t wait to see their latest post. They have to upload that pic of their dog doing a backflip. And it’s imperative to update Candy Crush while they’re at it. They can’t let their best friends see them with an outdated version – that would be too embarrassing.
- Selfie and drive – A lot of people are getting creative with their selfie taking. Since the bathroom is “played out” as a location, some individuals think it’s a good idea to take a selfie while switching lanes or making a left turn. They believe it’ll show all their friends how much of a great multitasker they are, not to mention how good they look while driving.
- Browse on – Catch up on the latest New York Times article. After all, you can’t risk getting caught reading non-related work items by your boss again at the office. Check that Youtube link for the dancing monkey everyone’s talking about. If you’re stuck in traffic, you need something to take away the stress, right?
If you haven’t noticed the massive dose of sarcasm infused into this post, then please, STOP or don’t start any of the behaviours listed above. Sometimes it’s best to be reminded of things in a way that doesn’t sound like a parent’s plea to change your ways. Hopefully, if you’re habitually breaking the distracted driving law by using your phone while in traffic, you’ll see how insignificant a pinging or vibrating phone is. It’s safe to say that almost every driver who has received a ticket for phone use, did not have an emergency taking place. With that said, we’re not being sarcastic when telling you that it is okay to use your phone in certain situations.
Ticketless Phone Use
- 911 is on the other end – If you’re actually dealing with an emergency, the use of a cell phone while driving is warranted. With that said, it’s still wise to use alternate means of having a conversation, rather than holding it in your hands. That brings us to our next point.
- When sidelined – If you’re in the shoulder lane or pulled over somewhere, you are in the clear to use your phone for whatever purpose (as long as it’s not criminal). This goes for both emergencies or just casual purposes.
- Out of your hand – Although some experts say hands-free driving is still distracting, you won’t get pulled over for speaking through a headset. To reduce police scrutiny, it’s wise to keep your phone mounted or even placed in a cupholder (provided you have no coffee with you).
You Have the Right to Remain Silent
We live in a culture where people have become too impatient and pathologically sensitive. Take more than five minutes to answer a friend’s text, and you will surely hear about it the next time you see them. And of course, on an individual level, most of us have the tendency to want answers and gratification right away, leading us to browse the web or upload pictures while driving. But giving into those desires can turn deadly.
Resist the urge to use your phone unless you’re facing a pressing situation, and consider a hands-free setup (most new cars come with wireless syncing for phones via Bluetooth™) if you can’t pull over to use your device. The consequences of using a phone while driving are too great to ignore. Tickets (and fines), tainted driving records, car collisions, disabilities and loss of life aren’t worthwhile outcomes for attending to a vibrating phone. There are dozens of other occasions where sending a reply won’t carry the risk of hurting yourself or others.