Wednesday, April 4, 2012

April 4, 2012--Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Using a cell phone while driving, whether it's handheld or hands-free, delays a driver's reactions as much as having a blood alcohol concentration at the legal limit of .08 percent. (2009, University of Utah)

Would you believe that alcohol inhibited driving laws didn't come about until the 1980's? Since automobiles originated in the early 1900's and alcohol has been around since before Jesus was a boy, that makes me a little discouraged that it could be almost 100 years before our legislature gets on board with regulating the use of cell phones while driving (and we SHOULD have flying, self-operated cars by then, right!). This is why education is so very important!

I am encouraged by individual industries creating standards with regard to distracted driving. Check out what the US Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has to say about the use of cellular phones in 18-wheelers and such.

FMCSA and PHMSA are amending the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) and the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) to restrict the use of hand-held mobile telephones by drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs). This rulemaking will improve safety on the Nation's highways by reducing the prevalence of distracted driving-related crashes, fatalities, and injuries involving drivers of CMVs. The Agencies also amend their regulations to implement new driver disqualification sanctions for drivers of CMVs who fail to comply with this Federal restriction and new driver disqualification sanctions for commercial driver's license (CDL) holders who have multiple convictions for violating a State or local law or ordinance on motor vehicle traffic control that restricts the use of hand-held mobile telephones. Additionally, motor carriers are prohibited from requiring or allowing drivers of CMVs to use hand-held mobile telephones.

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