Our View: Hang up and drive

Apr 082009

Hamburgers, iPod’s, cell phones — they’re all distractions that divert our attention from the road. And according to the Colorado Department of Transportation, distracted drivers cause one in six automobile accidents.

House Bill 1094, sponsored by Rep. Claire Levy D-Boulder, was passed with a 39-25 vote Wednesday. The legislation would outlaw texting while driving and require all drivers to use hands-free devices while driving except, of course, by those driving emergency vehicles.

If the bill continues and successfully passes through the Senate, fines, which range from $15 to $100, would be doled out to violators.

A New York incident that made national news in the summer of 2007 is a prime example of cell phone distraction.

A vehicle with five female passengers, all of whom had graduated high school earlier that day, crashed and burned. All five women died. Authorities believe that a cell phone was to blame.

Cell phone records show that the driver’s phone received a text message at 10:06:29 and within 40 seconds someone called emergency services to report the burning car.

We at the Collegian urge for Colorado lawmakers to continue to support the bill.

Washington D.C as well as five other states, including California, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York and Washington, prohibit talking on a cell phone without a hands-free device. We can only hope that our state lawmakers follow in those footsteps.

It’s easy to say that it’s just a little inanimate device, but considering the reality of multi-tasking — eating, texting, talking and even rockin’ out to our favorite 80s band — it’s a distraction and our driving suffers.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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