We all know texting and driving is a really bad idea. The time it takes for you to quickly look down at your phone basically is the same as driving the entire length of a football field. Blind.
Yet, despite all the PSAs and warnings, some people still refuse to register the memo. Why they proceed to look at their phone while idling behind red lights or during traffic jams is beyond me.
I mean, you’re sitting inside two tons of metal, my friend. Your perceived notion of invincibility is really hindering your common sense there.
Anyways, because some people think they’re master texters and can multitask behind the wheel, police are launching a month-long initiative to catch them. WTNH says Monday officially kicked off National Distracted Driving Awareness month.
The National Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration started teaming up and giving grants to local police catch and discourage texting drivers.
So, expect to see patrols stepping up for the “U DRIVE. U TEXT. U PAY.” initiative. It’s a high visibility effort to enforce distracted driving laws. This initiative couldn’t come at a more crucial time, too.
88 percent of people responding to the latest AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety study believe distracted driving is on the rise. However, 49 percent of those same respondents admitted to talking on the cellphone while behind the wheel.
35 percent said they willingly texted or sent a message while driving, too.
And, because of this, 3,400 died on the roads from distracted driving in 2016.
All in all, AAA concluded this:
“Nine out of 10 drivers nationwide reflect a ‘do-as-I-say, not-as-I-do’ attitude.”
Fairfield police finds that particularly alarming:
“Some drivers continuously ignore their responsibilities behind the wheel, and distracted driving is a growing and deadly threat on our roadways.”
Police hope this initiate inspires motorists to keep their eyes on the road and hands upon the wheel. They encourage drivers to keep their cellphone out of sight while traveling. They also encourage residents to take advantage of hands-free devices, like bluetooth.
However, people don’t understand how far they actually can travel with their eyes off the road. It takes precisely 5 seconds to travel the length of an entire football field.
Would you like to drive that entire distance blindfolded? With obstacles? Probably not.
Police firmly believe this effort will pay off. If a person is caught on the phone while driving, they have to write out a pretty fat check. One that’ll hurt to see taken out of your bank account.
First time offenders will have to cough up $150. The fine then jumps to $300 for the second offense and then to $500 every subsequent offense thereafter.
Not to mention, it puts points on your license and makes those insurance rates jump higher than conspiracy theorists jump to conclusions.
So, do yourself a favor and keep that phone out of reach while you drive. Or, get a bluetooth device. Honestly, no amount of texting is worth ruining, or ending, your life. Or someone else’s.