Cell phone technology has increased dramatically over the last 5 years. We can now send emails, use social networking sites, download various apps as well as communicate to our friends by text messaging. A recent study has shown that how cell phone ownership has increased among teens.
- 45% of teens had them in 2004
- 63% in 2006
- 71% in 2008
To read more about this study go to: Teens and cell phones
There are many advantages of teenagers owning a cell phone, such as you can call for help in an emergency situation, be accessible by your friends, parents or co workers. Cell phone ownership helps maintain friendships, where you can store your contacts in your phone book. Most cell phones have PDA capabilities which allow you to access the internet, send and receive email and send and receive text messages. However, teenagers aren’t using it for constructive purposes. Some teenagers tend to text message while driving which can put their life in danger as well as others. Teenagers may use their cell phones to send explicit photographs of themselves to their peers and sending intimidating messages to others.
Motor Vehicle Act- Electronic Devices- Texting
January 1, 2010 the BC Government issued a new law stating that all drivers are no longer permitted to use a hand-held cell phone device while driving in their car. However, the use of hands-free cell phone devices is permitted only.
In reference to, BC Injury Law Article, this article discusses the impact of using a cell phone while driving. "Driving while using a cell phone increases the chances of an accident. In fact, a recent study has shown that distracted drivers can be more likely than impaired drivers to cause an accident."
The BC Government issued this law to decrease the risks of accidents in motor vehicles. It is unlawful to text, email or use a hand held device while driving. If you are caught using a hand-held device, a fine of $167 will be issued. This includes if you are caught texting and or emailing. In addition to the fine, you will receive 3 penalty points on your driver’s license. “This is preventative legislation that focuses on being responsible with new technology in a way that doesn’t put people’s lives at risk” (Dr. Brian Brodie, president of the BC Medical Association). "On average, about 117 people die each year in B.C. and 1,400 are sent to hospital because someone was not paying attention behind the wheel" (Dr. Brian Brodie).
Please refer CBC website for additional information on the new BC Government hand held device ban.
- Limit cell phone use at home (i.e. no use of cell phone past or during meal times)
- Keep your teenager involved by showing them their bill at the end of the month
- Teach your teenager responsibility by perhaps getting them a pre-paid cell phone with only a certain amount of minutes
- Give your teenager a phone bill limit (i.e. you will only pay the bill up to $40 and if your teenager goes over the limit, they are responsible for paying the difference)
- Advise your teenager not to use cell phone when driving, except in an emergency