BY HARNOOR GILL
Grade 11 student
Christ The King Catholic Secondary
W8 2 TXT is a campaign that the Halton Regional Police Service has started because of the many accidents that occur because of distracted driving.
In this day and age, the cellphone has become a part of the human body because of how much people are constantly on it. Some are even ‘brave’ enough to be accessing their phones while driving. This is extremely unsafe and with this distracted driving has been on the rise. Just in 2013, distracted driving caused more deaths than impaired driving. Let us all start to rethink road safety here and stop this figure of distracted driving being a direct cause of 30 to 50 percent of collisions in Ontario. It’s also bizarre to see that this new cause of collisions has caused more fatalities than impaired driving.
Just recently, the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police launched its 2014 Crime Prevention Week where Police Services across the province focus on a local issue that is on the rise. During November 3 to 7, the Halton Regional Police Services (HRPS) decided to create a campaign involved around distracted driving and how deadly it really is. So, the HRPS launched their 2014 “Thumbs Up Against Distracted Driving” campaign to promote the message Thumbs Up – Heads Up – Be Alert.
The goal of the HRPS was to showcase to the various cities and towns in Halton Region how distracted driving can really be extremely fatal. It was amazing to see how our police services in Canada are so unique because of how much they are a part of the community. I know for myself that the HRPS has surpassed their goal because I know of friends and family that let me know about this issue because they realized that I would be driving soon. The HRPS handed out ring bracelets that stated W8 2 TXT in order to instill in people’s minds in a humorous way that not answering that last text isn’t the end of the world. Just simply wait.
As a young G1 driver myself, it’s hard to believe how prevalent this issue really is amongst today’s youth. I can’t even tell you the countless times that I myself have seen my peers looking down while thinking that it’s not noticeable from the outside. It’s extremely noticeable and it needs to stop because our roads are at risk for pedestrians as well as those that share road with you.
I would like to provide a few of my own alternatives to this issue. When you enter the car, turn your phone on silent so that you can’t accept calls or simply set up a voicemail stating that you’re driving, rather than risk the lives of others. If you don’t want to turn it off, click the option of “Do Not Disturb” so that the minute you have gotten out of your car and are in a risk-free zone, you can answer those long awaited messages or calls
Please drive safe – a message from a G1 youth driver.