Thursday, October 10, 2013

Community Column by Don Butt (Oct. 2013)

(Town of Mono, ON) This month we want to talk about something we are calling "driving distractions". This is not just using a cell phone for talking or text but other distractions as well. These consist of things like eating, drinking, dialing a radio station, changing a CD, putting on lipstick (yes, they do!), removing a jacket, or checking a road map and many others. If you are caught talking on a cell phone while driving, you may be ticketed or warned. Using hands free equipment may save you, but are you thinking about safe driving or is all your attention on the conversation? When I first got a cell phone, I tried a  simple hands free setup. I didn’t like it so I adopted a habit of pulling over, making my call and then pulling back on the road. I think this is a good policy for many of the things we do. If you have a passenger, ask them to look after the CD or radio or check the map. You may live longer.

Recently, the Toronto auto Dealers Assoc. published a piece in the Star about the distractions and the concern is very high in the Automobile field and in Police forces. If you take your eyes off the road for one second in to-days traffic, you could be in trouble. If you must do something else while driving, wait until you have a long straight clear stretch of road or pull off. If you drop something on the floor, do not attempt to retrieve it. As my friend Doug Annette at Oakville tells people, "Just drive." The things listed at the beginning of this column, we have actually seen people do, and it scares the --------- out of me. Drive carefully with as few distractions as possible.

Safety Tip
In Ontario, 27% of collisions are rear-enders. Prevent the risk of being hit from behind by always keeping escape space when stopped in traffic. Keep enough space so that you could change lanes or move up to create space for a following driver. If roads are wet, keep more space. (this tip comes to you from Doug Annett and the Skid control School at Oakville, Ont.

Phone Nos. – (a list of valuable numbers to have)
For all emergencies - 911
To report non emergency incidents or bad drivers -1-800-310-1122
Or by cell phone only *677

Road Watch
Our forms for reporting dangerous and aggressive drivers are now attached to our website.If you prefer a paper form or do not have a computer, our forms are available at Mono Plaza and OPP at Primrose. Please use them, the life you may save could be your own or a loved one. Or use the cell number to call direct - *677.

Don Butt is currently the Public Relations and Media Contact for the Mono Community Policing Committee. If you would like more information on anything covered in Don’s Column or would like to see a topic of public interest or safety covered; post a comment below.