One-third of Canadians are texting at red lights: Poll

2016-01-11 Car keys warm-up
(Photo: Kelly Roche/QEW South Post/file)
BY KELLY ROCHE
Thirty-three per cent of Canadians admit to texting while stopped at a red light in the last month, according to a poll released by the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) Wednesday.
“These numbers are troubling,” said CAA vice-president of public affairs Jeff Walker.
“The effect of texting at a red light lingers well after the light turns green, making it a dangerous driving habit.”
While nearly 70 per cent of Canadians agreed using their phone at a red light is unacceptable, they’re still texting.
“It’s socially unacceptable to drive drunk, and that’s where we need to get with texting,” said Walker.
“Attitudes are beginning to shift, but our actions need to follow.”
Distracted driving is an ongoing issue impacting the entire Region of Peel, said Const. Bally Saini.
“Most people, if you have your head down and you’re looking into your lap, you’re not noticing what’s going around you,” Saini said.
“You’re not paying attention and being focused all the time, which is what we want.”
Deaths from collisions caused by distracted driving have doubled in Ontario since 2000, according to the province.

Distracted driving is a factor in 15 to 19 per cent of all fatal crashes involving teen drivers, say police.
Young people make up 12 per cent of licensed drivers but account for about 20 per cent of all road-related injuries and deaths, said road safety Insp. Paul Pogue.
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