Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli is happy members of all parties at Queen’s Park voted to combat distracted driving by supporting his Safe Texting Zones Act. The bill would create designated highway ‘texting zones’, and was also endorsed the Canadian Automobile Association and the Insurance Bureau of Canada. Fedeli says texting while driving poses a major risk for drivers and those they share the road with. He says distracted driving deaths in Ontario have surpassed those of impaired driving for the eight consecutive year.
The bill would let the government to designate any of the 185 already-existing rest stops, commuter parking lots, transit stations, service or other areas as a ‘texting zone’ and require signage be displayed at or approaching it. Fedeli says designating specific ‘texting zones’, as New York State did in 2013, would be especially helpful in reducing distracted driving on rural and Northern highways.
Research shows that drivers who text while driving are 23 times more likely to be in a collision than drivers who focus on the road. Fedeli says the Safe Texting Zones Act sends a clear message that there is no longer an excuse for drivers who endanger themselves and those they share the road with by texting and driving.