By Mike Drolet, Global News
WATCH ABOVE: Testing out the distracted driving course
Oh, the poor pylons. Whatever did they do to deserve this? On a closed course, Global News took a spin with Young Drivers of Canada to show how easy it is to text and drive.
We say “easy” because Young Drivers of Canada’s Angelo DiCicco says the majority of students who take his course believe they would have no problem texting and driving.
“They actually believe they’re competent and capable of multitasking,” DiCicco said. “My job at Young Drivers is to teach them that’s a lie. “They actually don’t have the ability to split their mind between visual distraction and cognitive distractions,” DiCicco explained.
“After finishing the course not a single person has said, ‘wow, I’m actually as good at texting and driving as I thought!’ Most have smoked 10-15 pylons.”
The statistics support DiCicco’s experience with more accidents and deaths in Canada due to distracted driving than ever before, and in some jurisdictions, eclipsing the numbers from drinking and driving. Ontario is particularly dangerous, with close to 10,000 tickets issued so far this year.
So on a Markham, Ont. driving course filled with pylons, Global’s Mike Drolet attempted to keep his speed up while distracted by texting and playing Pokemon Go. While the Pokemon had no chance, neither did the pylons. It was reminiscent of a video out of Philadelphia last month where a driver clipped a stationary police car and then stepped out of his car while still playing Pokemon Go.
Phoning or attempting to dial while driving led to the same destruction, but it was texting that proved most difficult.
Drolet, who says he has a spotless record and considers himself a good driver, found texting and navigating the course proved impossible and ended up with a pair of pylons under the car. And then another. And another. Four pylons, in total, met their demise and the text message was a jumbled mess.
“You owe me $50 in pylons,” DiCocco told Drolet.
WATCH: Distracted driving message not getting through to drivers
The calls to criminalize distracted driving are growing, but the federal government’s response has wavered.
Two weeks ago, Quebec Premier Phillippe Couillard saying told Global News he thinks the federal government should criminalize distracted driving along the same lines as impaired driving, the Liberals said they received enough of a response to warrant consider looking into it. But Canadian Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould backtracked on that pledge Monday, suggesting the provinces were tackling the issue.
WATCH: Feds change tone (again) on who’s responsible for distracted driving legislation
Source: Global News