To the editor:
I propose a solution which I believe would be successful in addressing the “distracted” driving problem.
Desspite more emphasis on enforcement, many still seem to feel that their call or message is more important than being attentive to their driving.
So my suggestion is effective at a specified date, it should be illegal to sell a new vehicle in B.C. equipped with an automatic transmission.
People do not have enough to do with their digits, and thus have time to fiddle with hand-held devices. The need to shift gears, especially in urban traffic, will productively occupy their hands.
There would be a provision for people with a physician-documented disability to secure a permit for a “special order” vehicle.
Cries that “I can’t drive a stick shift” will fall on deaf ears. In the UK, everyone drives a standard shift vehicle. It is hardly rocket science.
As the years pass, all the automatic shift vehicles will go by the wayside. The roads will then be a much safer place for all.
On a recent holiday to the United Kingdom, I drove over 2,500 miles.
During that time, I observed only one person driving whilst eating a sandwich and only one using a mobile phone whilst behind the wheel.
Nearly all cars in the U.K. are standard shift. There seems to be a correlation.
As an aside, on the limited access highways (motorways) in England, there are ample travel plazas, offering restaurants and gasoline.
Drivers consume their beverages and/or food at the plaza—either in the restaurant or in their parked vehicles. I think a combination of education, safety awareness and standard-shift automobiles makes this the standard of behaviour.