Monday, November 29, 2010

Distracted Driving Laws Are Getting Tougher

You have probably heard about the dangers of texting while driving. Many cities and states have even issued bans on texting behind the wheel, promising that drivers caught with a “phone in one hand” will lead to a “ticket in the other,” as New York’s anti-distracted driving campaign states.

It is great news to learn that more and more states are putting a stop to this dangerous practice. It seems that many teenage and adult drivers think that they can somehow send a text, flip through mp3s, and drive all at the same time. Local government needs to take a stand to protect everyone else on the road.

The really good news, though, is that distracted driving laws have also attracted the attention of federal regulators. The Obama Administration banned all federal workers from texting behind the wheel. That means 4 million government employees now face consequences at work as well as in court. The federal government isn’t the only employer that has stepped up and demanded its employees start driving intelligently without distractions. Many companies have issued similar policies.

Companies working in the transportation and shipping industries, however, might not have much of a choice. The Department of Transportation has already managed to pass a few laws that prevent bus drivers and train operators from using mobile devices behind the wheel. As more and more evidence proves how dangers texting while driving really is, momentum grows in favor of new legislation that would protect everyone on the street.

To some extent, the problem with texting and driving is probably a failure of education. Parents who grew up without cell phones don’t teach their kids not to use their phones behind the wheel. Starting a national advertising campaign that teaches people about these dangers could potentially do more for safety that writing laws.