Another Metroplex city has taken the noble action of putting constraints on distracted driving. When you read the number of causalities that are a direct result of distracted driving, I’m sure you’ll understand why. Myself and everyone else at Freeman Grapevine applaud the efforts of our cities to stop distracted driving.
On November 18, 2014, the Bedford City Council passed an ordinance prohibiting distracted driving practices as they relate to portable electronic devices (which is defined as any handheld wireless communication device, laptop computer, tablet, media player, handheld gaming device, or any electronic device capable of displaying text-based communications, games, pictures or video).
In 2012, there were 3,328 people killed in distracted driving incidents. Statistical data reflects a significant correlation between cell phone use while driving and an increase in motor vehicle accidents. A study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that a person is 23 times more likely to be involved in a crash or near crash by looking away from the forward roadway for just two seconds; a risk that is comparable to driving with a blood alcohol content level of 0.15. Another NHTSA report shows that while texting, the average person’s eyes are off the road for five seconds. At 55 MPH, those five seconds equate to traveling the length of a football field while blindfolded.
The intention of the ordinance is to prohibit drivers from interacting with any electronic device in their hands, whether it is viewing, typing, or talking while operating a motor vehicle upon a public roadway. This includes while vehicles are stopped at a traffic signal.
Types of actions that are considered “use” in the ordinance are as follows: - viewing the display screen of a portable electronic device - holding a portable electronic device in a position to talk into or listen on - manipulating a portable electronic device by interacting with its display screen or pushing any button to enter text, dial numbers, or to engage in any other function.
The ordinance DOES NOT prohibit GPS devices affixed to a vehicle, a hands-free device, or the utilization of a portable electronic device in an emergency situation.
Be smart folks. chances are, that text can wait. It’s not worth destroying your life and the lives of others because you we’re to distracted with being social. There is no excuse. Pull over if you have to use your phone. Remember, you are driving, so why not actually focus on driving?