Opinion Matters

With Gazette Opinion Editor Greg Peck

It’s Distracted Driving Awareness Month

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Greg Peck
Thursday, April 11, 2013

Congress has declared April to be National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Maybe you were too busy texting or applying makeup or shaving while “steering” that two-ton weapon down the highway to catch that message.

“Despite laws to prevent distracted and inattentive driving, too many motorists talk and text on cellphones while driving,” State Patrol Maj. Sandra Huxtable, director of the state Department of Transportation Bureau of Transportation Safety, said in a news release. “They eat a meal. They rummage for things on the seats, floor, dashboard or compartments. They even stare intently in the rearview mirror to comb their hair or apply makeup. Their attention is focused everywhere except where it should be, which is on the road.”

Such distractions drastically increase risks of causing a crash or failing to avoid one, Huxtable says. Talking and texting on cellphones have received significant public and legislative attention. In November 2012, a state law went into effect that prohibits drivers with instructional permits or probationary licenses—which includes many teenagers—from “using a cellular or other wireless telephone except to report an emergency” while driving.

An earlier state law made texting while driving illegal for all motorists. Yet too many people do it, and it’s difficult for law enforcement to detect.

Play it safe, folks. When driving, hang up that cellphone, and don’t be tempted to text someone.

Greg Peck can be reached at (608) 755-8278 or gpeck@gazettextra.com. Or follow him on Twitter or Facebook

Last updated: 9:20 am Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Greg Peck can be reached at (608) 755-8278 or gpeck@gazettextra.com. Or follow him on Twitter or Facebook.

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