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Save Lives - Eliminate Distracted Driving

04 April, 2018, 00:58 | Author: Melinda Barton
  • AAA says distracted driving up among Americans

April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and the Knoxville Police and Tennessee Highway Patrol celebrated with a drive down Interstate 40, looking for drivers not paying attention while behind the wheel.

Efforts to increase awareness on texting and driving are on many platforms.

This year, they plan to do the same. Signs will alert drivers when they enter the corridor and troopers will be focused on stepped up enforcement of traffic violations.

"Mobile phone use is getting a lot of publicity and that's part of the problem, but it's much more extensive than that", he said. They can tap or swipe their phone if it's mounted in a secure place in their auto. Distracted drivers will be stopped and cited, with fines set at $162 for first-time offenders.


Preliminary 2017 data shows almost 22,000 drivers were involved in distracted-driving collisions in California, a decline from the more than 33,000 drivers involved in distracted-driving collisions in 2007, the last full year before the hands-free law went into effect.

Drivers could still talk on the phone and use their navigation programs, but their phones would need to be mounted to the windshield or dashboard, not in their hands.

While local law enforcement says it's too early to tell how the hands-free law has impacted distracted driving in OR, one deputy with the Jackson County Sheriff's Office says he's noticed a difference since the law went into effect.

Higgins said it's a challenge enforcing distracted driving because of things like rush hour traffic and understanding what device is being used. When examining statistics gathered from counties in major Texas metropolitan areas, the total number of crashes caused by distracted drivers increased in each of the areas listed. Twelve people were killed in work zone crashes in 2017. Despite their own behavior, most drivers (nearly 58 percent) say talking on a cell phone while behind the wheel is a very serious threat to their personal safety, while 78 percent believe that texting is a significant danger. Then drivers should continue with their day while driving responsibly. "The bottom line is if you text and drive, you will pay".

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