The following is a letter to my local politician regarding the lack of a cell phone ban while driving in New Brunswick. Feel free to copy/paste whatever you like from this letter to send your own!
Dear Mr. McIntyre:
I realize that the Legislature is not currently sitting and won’t be in session again until after an election takes place, but I think this topic is worth acting upon immediately.
As a resident of New Brunswick, I find it embarrassing that we are one of only two provinces that have not found it important enough to save our resident’s lives by making the use of a cellular telephone or any electronic device while driving a criminal act.
On January 5, 2010, Public Safety Minister John Foran publicly stated that New Brunswick is “studying” a ban. The following studies have already been done, years ago:
A 2005 study can be found here: http://www.cartest.ca/cell_phones_and_driving_late.htm
A 2006 Utah news article about a study by the University of Utah titled “Drivers on cell phones are as bad as drunks”: http://www.unews.utah.edu/p/?r=062206-1
Here is a PDF overview of the UTAH study findings: http://www.hfes.org/Web/Pubpages/celldrunk.pdf
The complete Utah study can be purchased and downloaded here for $28 + tax: http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/hfes/hf/2006/00000048/00000002/art00014
Some articles from Canada that suggest even hands-free devices are not safe: http://www.cbc.ca/consumer/story/2009/07/21/cellphone-driving.html
This 2010 study in New York found that bans on handheld device use in densely populated areas caused a reduction, often dramatic, in accidents and fatalities: http://scienceblog.com/29826/study-cell-phone-bans-while-driving-have-more-impact-in-dense-urban-areas/
There is no more need for more studies. They have been done and the results are clear. What is needed now is effective leadership and fast action. Every day that is lost has the potential to cost more lives.
A group of Saint John High School Film Study students created the following video in a plea to try and convince young people to stop driving and texting. I suggest this video is in response to their frustration at a government they see as not doing its job.
Thank you for considering this message and I hope to hear of you championing it as part of your legacy to the people of New Brunswick.
The email and mailing address for all NB MLAs can be found here: http://app.infoaa.7700.gnb.ca/gnb/pub/ListMLA1.asp
If you send an email to any or all MLAs, I recommend you also send a letter to them to ensure they officially respond that they have received your letter. Email correspondence often isn’t taken as seriously as a letter.