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Distracted drivers deserve harsher punishments than drunk ones, say CBC readers

Categories: Canada, Community

A man works his phone as he drives through traffic. (AP Photo)

Distracted drivers who cause collisions should be prosecuted the same as or harsher than drunk drivers, according to some readers.

In response to an article stating that fatal collisions by distracted drivers are up 17 per cent in Canada -- even surpassing impaired driving deaths in three provinces -- readers proposed multiple solutions to put a halt to this trend.

Those solutions included everything from increasing fines and bad-driver tip lines, to phone confiscation and futuristic technology.

Several CBC readers even suggested distracted driving should be considered a criminal offence, and that it should be included more heavily in driving school programs.

"I think anyone found texting or on their cell phone while driving should have their car impounded, their license revoked for a month and all other cars that may be registered to the family impounded," wrote Brendaat54. "Drivers must learn, or at least some drivers, that their vehicle can kill if not carefully controlled."

But are fines and threats of phone and car confiscation enough?

"How about putting a device in the car which interferes with phone use so they do not work?" wrote bobstheway. "The device could be rigged so that if it was disabled the car would not start."

"They invent cars that drive themselves so people can do anything in their vehicles. Maybe they can also take demerit points away for distracted drivers: first time offence, two demerits plus $500 fine," added Raven60.

Other CBC readers also suggested tackling distracted driving in all its forms: Silence "yapping" spouses and other passengers; don't allow drivers to hold pets in their laps; and prevent cellphone addiction.

But will any of this stop distracted driving?

"People are going to text and drive," wrote Liz Farge. "The only thing that law enforcement does is make it more dangerous because now people are double distracted - texting and trying not to get caught. It was a lot safer when you could hold it in your hand instead of in your lap."

"All in all, irresponsible drivers get into accidents, no matter what the law may state," wrote SixStringHobo.

What do you think?

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