Okay, do I really need to tell you that texting and driving is a terrible idea? No? Good, you’re a smart cookie.
Because there are some people out there who honestly 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. Because it’s National Distracted Driving Awareness month.
So, the National Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are teaming up and giving grants to local police to get these texters off the streets for good.
Starting tomorrow, patrols will step 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.
Distracted driving related fatalities rose 9 percent in 2015. If you need an exact number, that’s nearly 3,500 people. That’s on top of the nearly 400,000 people who were injured in these sorts of accidents.
Even though a AAA survey found that about 80 percent of drivers think it’s completely unacceptable to text behind the wheel, a third of those people admitted to reading texts while driving.
Stamford Sgt. Andrew Gallagher finds that particularly alarming:
“Everyone knows texting and driving is illegal and dangerous, and everyone knows they shouldn’t be doing it—but we see it happen all the time.”
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 drive that distance blindfolded? Probably not, right?
Greenwich, Ridgefield, and Stamford police believe this latest effort will pay off. Because if a person is caught on the phone while driving, they have to write a pretty fat check. 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 text is worth ruining, or ending, your life over.