Some People Just Do Not Get It: Drivers Continue to Drive Distracted
FLORENCE, AL— Distracted driving continues to plague our roads. Distracted driving is a national pandemic according tothe Times Daily. Distracted driving implies texting while driving but the phrase actually encompasses more behaviors than texting. Other distracted driving behaviors like playing with the radio, paying attention to passengers, using a GPS, and even talking on the phone all constitutes distracted driving. We see it every day during our travels and are probably guilty of doing it at least once within the last ten years. The problem can be solved if people regulate themselves.*
The national numbers are astounding. As recently as 2016, the last year of certified statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 3,450 people died across the county is motor vehicle crashes caused by distracted driving. Florence police say that distracted driving is an enormous problem on the roads in Alabama and that something must be done.
Relying on people to curb their behavior may not be entirely possible. Some people argue that Georgia’s hands-free law, which went into effect in July of 2018, is a better law because the measure prohibits more risky behaviors and provides for stiffer penalties that the law currently in place in Alabama.
In Alabama, a driver may not text while driving. However, the law permits drivers to engage in other risky behaviors such as using a GPS or talking with a phone in hand while driving. Alabama law enforcement authorities say that many people ignore the current law. Police find the current law hard to enforce because the penalty is insignificant. It is a $25 fine plus costs to the court.
Just over the border in Georgia, all drivers must drive without any phone or device in their hands unless it is an emergency. Also, the penalties are slightly stiffer. They start at $50 and go up with every subsequent offense. Furthermore, the state of Georgia will assess two points on a driver’s license for every subsequent violation.
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