The temptation to use these devices is overwhelming for some drivers, but now, following a recent report by the National Transportation Safety Board, police are being empowered to cite them for taking their eyes off the road.
April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month and police around the country are steeping up efforts to cite drivers who they find are allowing themselves to be distracted from something other than their driving. All but 15 states have enacted some sort of distracted driving ban. These laws run the gamut in terms of what is permitted and what sort of punishment is meted out for violators.
In some states, such as New York and California, drivers are not permitted to use cell phones while driving. In other states drivers can use their hands free devices, but texting is not permitted. Fines for violations range from $50 to more than $150 for first time offenders. But there is a steeper price to paid for those who violate the many and various distracted driving laws: death.
According to the NTSB and numerous other studies, including ones completed by AAA and Berkley University, distracted driving is now the most common cause of highway traffic fatalities. Drivers who are distracted while tooling down the highway are less safe (that’s LESS SAFE) than drivers who are operating their vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Not only that, but in most states DUI offenses have been on a steady decline while distracted driving crashes have been steadily on the increase.
This month do yourself, and everyone who shares the road with you, a favor and keep your eyes on the road.