Innovative Canadian police texting campaign uses hearse

Sometimes other jurisdictions come up with innovative ways to deal with various issues faced by law enforcement and lawmakers — such as texting while driving. It is certainly not just an American problem. It is rampant in Canada as well.

Toronto City Police have come up with a campaign that grabs attention. It involves a hearse, and so far, it has started a buzz on social media that has put the topic of distracted driving front and center.

The campaign is dubbed “That Text or Call That Could End it All,” and distracted drivers can expect to be ticketed by police riding in a hearse. It is certainly an unusual way to capture people’s attention and bring home the seriousness of texting while driving. No one wants to think about getting a ride in a hearse, and if that motivates people to not text while driving, the campaign will have done its job.

Toronto drivers caught talking on their mobile device without a hands-free Bluetooth or those using a cell phone while driving were handed heavy fines ranging from $1,000 to $2,000 and faced being assigned between three to six demerit points.

Serious issues usually call for serious responses. The person who texts while driving is responsible for not only his or her life, but the lives of the other vehicles that may be involved in an avoidable collision.

It should be pointed out that distracted driving does not just involve texting, talking or using e-devices while driving. It also includes grooming, eating, talking to passengers, reaching into the back seat to tend to children, shaving, putting on makeup, smoking and drinking liquids. Whatever it takes to educate drivers about the risks of distracted driving (much like drinking and driving campaigns), it needs to be done. Using a hearse is a graphic way to show people where they may end up if they text and drive.

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