OMA's road safety prescription heeded in bill to ban use of hand held
devices for drivers
TORONTO, Oct. 28 /CNW/ - Ontario's doctors are encouraged by the Ministry
of Transportation's introduction today of a bill to ban the use of hand-held
devices while driving. The Ontario Medical Association (OMA) has been
instrumental in calling for government action on the use of cellphones by
"We know that driving while distracted is a recipe for disaster," said
Dr. Ken Arnold, President of the OMA. "Unfortunately, doctors continue to see
injuries, and even deaths, caused by cellphone use while driving and that's
why this bill is an important one."
An OMA report, Cellular Phone Use and Driving: A Dangerous Combination,
was released this September and shows that a crash is four times as likely if
a cell phone has been used up to 10 minutes prior to the collision.
The OMA report also found that the use of a cellphone while driving leads
to dangerous changes in drivers' behaviour. Among these changes are:
- Change in average driving speed
- Slower brake reaction time
- Slower response times to traffic light changes
- Reduced visual monitoring of mirrors and instruments, with some
drivers abandoning them entirely
According to the Ontario Road Safety Annual Report, there were 766
fatalities due to motor vehicle collisions in Ontario in 2005. It also shows
that there were 71,850 injuries due to collisions, resulting in close to
50,000 hospital days.
"Injuries in collisions caused by the use of a hand-held device could be
easily preventable," said Dr. Arnold. "We're hopeful that this bill will
provide drivers with the education and motivation they need to put down the
distractions while driving."
The OMA report is posted at
For further information:
For further information: OMA Media Relations at (416) 340-2862 or
toll-free at 1-800-268-7215 ext. 2862