Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Community Column (Sept. 2014)

Town of Mono, ON (Don Butt) This month I want to talk a little about distractions. We have done this before but it will bear repeating. There are many kinds of distractions for drivers but the new ones are probably the worst and very dangerous. Making calls while driving has been a problem for years and now we have texting. Both are illegal but are still done by some, especially young people. I have a cell phone and if I need to make a call, I pull off the road and do it, the same for answering a call.
If you have a proper hands-free set-up, and can just push a button to answer, it is much safer, but is still a distraction because your mind is on the call and not on driving. My car was struck by the rear in heavy traffic some years ago, and when I looked back, he was still talking on the cell phone. He used the excuse that he was calling the police, but that was not true. Texting is especially bad because it usually takes 2 hands. How do you steer? Please just avoid this dangerous practice and live longer!

Other kinds of distractions are just as bad – eating while driving, checking a road map, drinking, adjusting the radio, changing a CD, the list goes on. Avoid doing anything that distracts. As my good friend Doug Annett at Oakville’s Skid Control School says “just drive”.

The other day I was traveling north on the Orangeville by-pass and wanting to change lanes I put on my turn signals for at least 2 blocks and started to edge left; no way they wouldn’t let me in; in fact came right up beside me and blocked me. Talked to my friend Paul on the OPP and there is no law covering this but common courtesy says you should let people in with lots of warning! Hah! so much for that!

Safety Tip - Scan aggressively between and around parked cars when traveling through parking lots. (this tip comes to you from Doug Annett and the Skid Control School at Oakville , ON  www.skidcontrolschool.com)

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.