Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island – ‘Texting’ has now replaced ‘Talking’ – Distracted Driving is still prevalent on Prince Edward Island Roadways.
“Despite significant penalties, distracted driving is still a problem on Island roadways,” says RCMP Queens District Commander, S/Sgt. Mark Crowther.
“What was previously talking on a cell phone is now texting and driving – with the phone positioned in such a way as to conceal it from law enforcement. It’s an extremely dangerous practice and completely unacceptable.”
RCMP are requiring more elaborate enforcement techniques as drivers resort to great lengths to avoid detection.
“It’s difficult to charge when smart phones are positioned on laps to avoid detection. Our officers need to get in close for a visual and that’s not always easy, unless drivers are stopped at intersections or traffic lights. It’s also next to impossible to monitor for texting at highways speeds and this is where things get dangerous often resulting in serious injury and death.”
We’re also concerned with the generational shift. “For Millennials, texting is replacing talking,’ and this is concerning as it relates to younger drivers. Smart phones are also now substituting for time keeping and playing music through in-car entertainment systems so ‘handling’ one (for music) while driving is as dangerous and texting and talking.”
Prince Edward Island has some of the toughest penalties in Canada for distracting driving. $575 dollars and five points. “These can really sting and quite often lead to pleas from motorists for a written warning. Fortunately, distracted driving is unacceptable in society today, and for law enforcement. It’s as good as a ticket. No exceptions.”
RCMP Queens District