Tougher penalties for distracted driving are fine, but they won't make much difference

There’s nothing wrong with increasing the fines for distracted driving. Considering how often it’s become a factor in fatal collisions, the penalties should be very serious indeed.

In fact, I wonder why even with the new measures it takes three convictions to get to a $3,000 fine and a 30-day license suspension. But let’s not pretend the tougher consequences will be enough to dramatically reduce texting and driving anytime soon.

Even after stronger penalties were put in place, it took generations to create a social stigma about drinking and driving that finally made it unacceptable. And unless many more resources are devoted to enforcement, most distracted drivers will continue to get away with their bad behaviour and they won’t worry about any consequences at all.

We all see them on the roads every day. Either way, if the prospect of dying or killing someone with their cars isn’t enough to get people to put down their smartphones and keep their eyes on the road, why would a $1,000 fine make any difference?

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