Saturday, February 27, 2021

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

EMP_Stop-sign-20x302Danger lurks behind the wheel when a driver redirects their attention from the road to some other distracting behavior, like talking on a cellular telephone or text messaging.

During the month of April, law enforcement agencies throughout California will be participating in the National Distracted Driving Awareness Month campaign.

However, it’s not just cell phones causing the distraction; passenger interference, adjusting the radio or changing the CD are additional factors leading to driver inattention.

‚ÄúOfficers see firsthand the destruction caused by inattention,‚ÄĚ said CHP Commissioner Farrow. ‚ÄúIt only takes a second of distraction to result in a crash.‚ÄĚ

In 2013, more than 57,000 drivers were ticketed for handheld cell phone talking or texting during the month-long enforcement period, according to the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) and the California Highway Patrol (CHP).

‚ÄúDrivers need to ask themselves, ‚ÄėIs that phone call or text message worth my life or the lives of those around me?‚Äô‚ÄĚ said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow. ‚ÄúThe answer is simple, it‚Äôs not worth it. Every distraction affects a driver‚Äôs reaction time, and things can change without notice.‚Ä̬†

A first time citation will cost a minimum of $159, with a second violation at least $279. Other violations for actions that can be classified as distracted driving can range even higher.

In recent years, hundreds of people have been killed in California, while thousands were injured, as the result of collisions that involved at least one driver who was distracted. This distraction can be any activity that diverts the driver‚Äôs attention away from the primary task of driving. According to a study conducted by Carnegie Mellon University, the act of talking on a cell phone can reduce more than 35 percent of the brain activity needed for driving. Essentially distractions change a seemingly good driver into a ‚Äúzombie‚ÄĚ behind the wheel.¬†

The overall goal is to reinforce to the motoring public the dangers of distracted driving and reduce the number of people impacted by this destructive behavior.

‚ÄĚParents and other adults need to set a positive example,‚ÄĚ said OTS Director Christopher J. Murphy.

‚ÄúStart by never calling or texting anyone, especially your kids, when there‚Äôs a possibility they might be driving. Then let that same action follow you when you are the driver.‚Ä̬†

The California Highway Patrol ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs not worth it!‚ÄĚ campaign continues to make drivers and the public aware of the dangers of distracted driving, as well as the high cost of tickets, through Caltrans changeable message signs over highways, DMV messaging in field offices, plus internet, social media and other outreach.

Following a few uncomplicated steps would go a long way in keeping you safe from distracted driving:

  • Put your cell phone out of reach or turn it off when you get in the car so you won‚Äôt be tempted to use it.
  • Mention on your outgoing voicemail message that you can‚Äôt answer because you might be driving.
  • Don‚Äôt call or text anyone when there is a good chance that they may be driving.
  • If you must call or text, pull into a parking space. The extra couple of minutes are worth it.
  • The ability to safely multi-task while driving is myth. Cell phone use actually diminishes the brain‚Äôs ability to drive safely.
  • Never check Facebook, run an app, read or otherwise allow your full attention to leave the task of safely driving.¬†

So the next time you are pressed for time, and it seems like multitasking in the car is the best decision, remember those 3,328 lives that were taken because someone decided they could do two things at once.  A text or call is not worth your life, or anyone else’s. 

 

 

Lloyd Green Jr, Editor
Lloyd Green Jr, Editorhttps://williamspioneer.com
Lloyd Green Jr. is the Owner and Publisher of the Williams Pioneer Review. He is dedicated in publishing the news and informing the community of Colusa County. Lloyd has been with the publication since 2008, and purchased the business in 2010. Under his ownership the newspaper has grown significantly in subscriptions, publishes weekly, and obtained the title of Newspaper of General Circulation by the Superior Court of Colusa County in Sept. 2017. Lloyd is also the director of advertising, classified manager, legal notice clerk, and circulation manager. To contact Lloyd, email him at lloyd@colusacountynews.net or call (530) 458-4141 ext. 100.

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