Transport Ministers Sit On the Fence to Criminalize Distracted Driving

Transport Ministers Defer Decision on Criminalizing Distracted Driving

Last month, Quebec’s transportation minister Laurent Lessard asked Ottawa to consider criminalizing distracted driving but in a meeting with his Canadian provincial colleagues, the new was not positive. Canadian provincial transport ministers were split on whether distracted driving should become a criminal offence.

Transport ministers from across Canada seemed to have mixed feelings about the criminalization of distracted driving on Wednesday as they met in Toronto. Many of the ministers appeared to sit on the fence; some avoided expressing an opinion. Ontario’s transport minister, Steven Del Duca suggested that more could be done but did not commit to criminalization of distracted driving.

Provincial Transport Ministers Cannot Commit to Criminalizing Distracted Driving

Transport Minister Wally Schumann from the Northwest Territories  suggested that criminalizing distracted driving was a good idea, with real consequences that would affect a motorist’s life.

The meeting in Toronto included the Federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau, who repeated that distracted driving was a significant issue which would be discussed during the meeting with his provincial representatives. The federal minister had placed the criminalization of texting and driving on his agenda.

Many of the provincial ministers were reluctant to provide their opinion on criminlizing distracted driving, In some provinces, there are more fatalities caused by distracted driving than impaired driving yet it appears that provincial transport ministers don’t think that is a significant reason to make distracted driving a criminal offence.

Young Drivers of Canada will continue to spread the word on the perils of distracted driving including the easy solution, turn off your phone and put it away so you won’t be tempted. Drivers are encouraged to lock their phones in the glove box or truck to avoid temptation. The action is simple but will motorists get the message? Time will tell.