I have an Ignition Interlocking Device in my vehicle. I recently received a warning letter from OPP stating that it was a warning that I was using a hand held device while driving and if it happened again I would be charged with Careless driving when I in fact I was using the Interlocking device as is required at various times while the vehicle is running. Is this considered a hand held device or is it except from the legislation?
The device is neither for communication or entertainment, but rather for the safe operation of the motor vehicle. Based on that, the only issue would be the visible display screen. Regulation 366/09 covers exemptions, and specifically lists ignition interlock devices as being exempt from having visible displays.
Richmondhiller wrote:I have an Ignition Interlocking Device in my vehicle. I recently received a warning letter from OPP stating that it was a warning that I was using a hand held device while driving and if it happened again I would be charged with Careless driving when I in fact I was using the Interlocking device as is required at various times while the vehicle is running. Is this considered a hand held device or is it except from the legislation?
The Ignition Interlock Device
The Ignition Interlock Device is on the exemption list for handheld devices. This is an example of the hypocrisy evident today with the legislation. Please note the following:
Sadly it is a misconception that the IID is used only to ensure the driver is sober enough to allow the engine of the automobile to be started. When the devices were first manufactured they actually were geared to this end. When it was discovered that upon occasion drivers who had been drinking got a friend to perform the test for them, the manufacturer built into the machine a process referred to as the Random Rolling Retest,
At random intervals while the car is being driven, the driver will be asked by the machine to provide a breath sample. Within a specified interval of time the breath sample must be provided. If it is not, the horn begins to sound off and the lights begin to flash continuously until the automobile is brought to a complete stop.
Should you be in a situation which requires your undivided attention while driving, the manufacturer claims you will have enough time to either clear the scene or pull off the road to a stop.. The time frame for this is not given in the instructional video. Failure to provide a successful sample within a predetermined time will cause the horn to sound and the lights to flash continuously until the car is brought to a complete stop and the ignition turned off. A warning to pull off the road will also be provided should you fail the breath test or fail to complete the test within the time limits allowed by the machine. For example, should you drop the device onto the floor of the car and be unable to safely recover it in time, the results are inescapable.
So what repercussions may result from using this device in a rolling retest?:
The sequence of events involved not only in manipulating the device but providing the correct steps in the right sequence to provide a breath sample, employ a considerable mental and physical effort when blowing into the handheld monitor and driving in heavy traffic. Taken together, all at the same time, this will result in an unacceptable distraction possibly further resulting in an accident.
The time frame for providing a sample for the rolling retest can result in considerable driver distraction if he/she is hemmed in, in heavy traffic and attempting to exit a busy freeway. Stress levels may rise unacceptably. Improper lane changes and the like can be extremely hazardous. This has the potential to cause an accident.
If a driver fails a rolling retest (for a reason which may be totally unrelated to a sample failure) the resulting cacophony of horn blaring and lights flashing almost surely will cause increased stress levels and distraction inside the vehicle for both driver and passenger(s) and for other drivers in the vicinity. This has the potential to result in an accident.
(This might be dated but it would seem that the study was a valid one and should hold true for today). "Dramatic findings in a recently released study by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) show that interlock devices had no statistically significant effect in preventing subsequent drunk driving convictions, but they increase their users' general crash risk by up to 130%". http://abionline.org/press_release/293/
One other point of note is that upon attempting to follow past research paths the author has noted that since posting the original website from which this blog is derived, manufacturers seem to have either played down or removed altogether references to the consequences of either failing or missing a Random Rolling Retest. Further, in his remarks on the Ontario DOT website in reference to the use of the IID, the Minister of Transport comments that a quiet internal alarm will warn the driver to stop his vehicle. This makes no sense at all as a driver is perfectly safe from having the engine turned off while driving and may proceed to his/her destination without attracting an embarrassing degree of attention. The blaring horn and flashing lights were originally employed to create such an atmosphere of embarrassment as to promote the driver of the vehicle to remove it to a place of safety where the engine could be safely shut off. It would seem that the minister may be under the erroneous impression that the common citizen of Ontario just fell off the proverbial "turnip truck." What foolishness!
In some jurisdictions, the province of Ontario, for example, a new law has come into effect barring the use of handheld devices while driving. This law seems to be specifically geared towards the use of cell phones but is broad enough to include many other activities. It would seem to be hypocritical, that in the list of devices arbitrarily decided to be exempted by the Dept. Of Transportation that the IID be included.
You can put away a cell phone in a heartbeat. You cannot ignore the IID in a Random Rolling Retest.
In the same vein, the IID is mandated for DUI convicted drivers who wish to or have an urgent need to return to driving possibly, for example, for maintaining one's career. The penalties for dui are extremely harsh under the guise of re-education. (Is this a valid judgement call? - Perhaps the only one truly qualified to put forth a valid judgement call is the founder of MADD, Candy Litener. With the extremes of legislation subsequently fomented under the powerful lobbying efforts of MADD she quit in disgust claiming that she had never intended the movement to go so far. At this point in time she has disavowed any connection to this organization as it is today.)
Personally this author does not wish to be driving in the vicinity of any driver required to take a Random Rolling Retest in heavy traffic
Just as a further note an additional study was done in 2004 by the California Dept. of Motor Vehicles. Please note the quote from the conclusion section of that study:
OF IGNITION INTERLOCK IN CALIFORNIA
REPORT TO THE LEGISLATURE
OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
IN ACCORD WITH ASSEMBLY BILL 762
CHAPTER 756, 1998 LEGISLATIVE SESSION
"The relationship between IIDs and crashes changes when crashes are examined for
offenders who installed an interlock device. Surprisingly, the two analyses that
examined this both showed that the risk of crashes was higher for offenders installing
There is no question that these devices should be considered hazardous and should be removed from the exemption list, But I suppose optics and the influence of the lobbying by powerful special interest groups will continue to put us all at risk until perhaps a horrific accident occurs as a result of the usage of these devices. The Random Rolling Retest should be ordered to be disabled in all IID's. Will someone have to lose a cherished family members before a public outcry occurs?
Just to add to the above, I have been doing extensive checking on these devices and it seems that with minor variations they still work in a fashion similar to that described above. I have also checked extensively on the ministry website for changes or just a description of how the interlock device works. I have been unable to find the comment from the minister which I described above so perhaps things have changed so I suppose I will have to retract that part of my post. It would seem that there is an extensive campaign of damage control. The studies above are still valid and the dangers inherent with the Random Rolling Retest are also still an issue despite the clever rhetoric.
It is difficult to know how to combat these excesses. As with any issues in a democracy I suppose an educated public is the best defense. I am convinced that the public as a whole is pretty much in the dark with careful and complex wording which amounts to misleading all. I am, in my own small way trying to do my bit to bring certain things to light as is the initiator of this blog:
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