Distracted Driving: Necessary Intervention or Government Micromanagement?
House Bill 63 and Senate Bill 28 have been introduced at the Texas State Capitol in an effort by Representative Tom Craddick and others to place a statewide ban on texting while driving. This includes Distracted Driving Citations in San Antonio. These bills will prohibit any use of a cell phone while in a moving vehicle, excluding emergency use. First-time offenders can face up to a $100 fine. But it’s not just the fine that can make a driver want to put the phone down; the perils of distracted driving alone are enough. Just ask Jennifer Smith, founder of the Distraction Advocate Network. Smith’s mother was killed by a driver who was talking on his cell phone and ran a red light.
Deadly Distracted Driving Statistics
While the stories stemming from crash victims and their families are heartbreaking at times, shocking, they still don’t have the impact they should. Distraction.gov has some alarming statistics that might be convincing enough to make a driver think twice before picking up the phone:
In 2011, 13.4% of 3,048 reported traffic fatalities were attributed to distracted driving.
Drivers who text are 23 times more likely to be involved in a collision.
According to recent numbers, 11% of crashes involving drivers under the age of 20 were distraction-related.
Governor Rick Perry Against Distracted Driving Citations in San Antonio
Political movements working toward putting this ban into effect are given impetus by divided groups; there are those grief-stricken families of crash victims and then there are others who believe that the ban is a form of intrusion on behalf of the government. Perry has been outspoken regarding this topic and continues to oppose the texting-while-driving ban as well as Distracted Driving Citations in San Antonio, asserting that government regulation is not the answer. Instead, he believes this is a matter of public education, whereas regulation is intrusion. Representative Craddick disagrees vehemently, stating, “This is about saving lives.” This is his second attempt to push this bill through. In 2011, Perry vetoed a similar bill.
The Four-Second Rule
Current city ordinances with which Texas drivers are already familiar include bans on cell phone use within school zones and prohibiting cell phone use by drivers under the age of 18 while operating a vehicle. Distracted Driving Citations in San Antonio can total up to $300 in fines for violating these laws. With these laws already in place, is public education really going to reduce distracted driving accidents and fatalities? Perhaps if it appeals to the heart and not the wallet.
On the other hand, there is one cost that might convince drivers more than laws or public education attempts: in civil court, victims and families of crash victims can make claims against distracted drivers. And when it comes to saving lives, does it not make more sense to put the phone down rather than risk hefty fines or face these victims in civil court? One seemingly rash yet poignant suggestion we came across was to educate the public on how to place a phone call in four seconds or less, because the rule is that it takes about that long with one’s eyes away from the wheel to cause an accident according to distraction.gov.
No matter the solution, Rick Perry believes that the government should stay out of our business when it comes to what we do in our cars, including Distracted Driving Citations in San Antonio. But lawmakers are closer than ever to passing these bills, and people like Jennifer Smith feel that this “government micromanagement” is worth the price.
Distracted Driving Citations in San Antonio
Don’t fight your Distracted Driving Citations in San Antonio alone. Elaine Burgess- Traffic Ticket Attorney. Call 210-745-2825.