March 18, 2014 by Canadian Underwriter
The majority of Canadians included in a new survey said they think texting while driving should be a criminal offence, although they saw other distracted driving behaviour as less serious.
In the survey of about 1,500 Canadian drivers released Tuesday and commissioned by Kanetix.ca, 84% said texting and driving should be criminal.
When asked about using a phone generally while driving, 73% said that should be a criminal offence.
However, other tasks behind the wheel were less likely to be considered criminal.
Seventy-six percent of those surveyed thought putting on makeup while driving should also be a criminal offence, and 58% said they thought that distracted driving should be a criminal offence in general. Only 33% thought the same for eating while driving, and 14% said that adjusting the radio or music while driving should be criminal.
“There are many habits that most drivers are guilty of that could have severe consequences,” Sean Graham, principal broker at KANETIX.ca noted in a press release.
“For example, texting at a red light can result in a ticket fine of $280, plus an insurance premium increase, which is typically an average increase of $75 per year in Ontario. And this conviction stays on a person’s record for three years. Not to mention the possibility of an accident because you are no longer paying attention to the road.”