Deseret News: ‘Distracted driving needs to be a greater concern’
A recent article from Deseret News advocates against the weakening of distracted driving laws.
In 2009, traffic fatalities reached their lowest levels in a decade. It even dipped further in 2012, but sharply rebounded last year, where there was a total of 256 in the state. According to Zero Fatalities Utah, an advocate site for safe driving, 9 percent of those involved distracted driving.
Utah, which the paper considers to have strong driving laws, almost had them weakened back in May. The proposal would have let drivers dial or answer the phone while driving as well as talk with the phone up to their ear.
The proponent of the bill, Rep. Jake Anderegg, argued that the current laws were ineffectual and actually leading to more accidents.
“Now, that’s not going to be popular with some people, but what’s happened is instead of people driving like this,” he told Fox 13 at the time, holding his phone in front of him, “they’ve put it down in their lap… and it’s actually taken their eyes more off the road.”
The bill ultimately failed, but the Deseret News is concerned that future attempts to change the law may occur.
“Distracted driving won’t go away until it becomes culturally unacceptable to drive and operate a cellphone simultaneously. Strong laws and public service announcements can be a part of bringing about that change,” the paper reports. Warning people of the practice may help stop it far quicker than any law could.
“Comments from friends who see such behavior would do more, however.”
There are many other accidents that can happen as a result of a distracted driver. In those cases, contacting a personal injury attorney can help you handle the situation.