While searching for a new song on your iPod, your phone beeps. Hands full, you set down the sandwich you’ve been eating and try to find your cell to see what the new message says.
And that’s all just at a red light.
Driving from one place to another doesn’t seem to be enough, with most of us using texting to take multitasking behind the wheel to new levels.
But starting today, Colorado is joining the 19 other states that have banned texting while driving, and with the number of accidents caused by texting rising over the past few years, this law attempts to fight the problem at the source.
The ban allows any officer to pull you over if they suspect you’re texting while driving. The first time around, the fine is $50 and that amount doubles the second time you’re caught. That is, if they can prove you were, in fact, texting.
But will this really solve anything?
The real problem here is drivers’ negligence and inattention behind the wheel.
Drivers need to understand the importance of their actions on the road. Any multitasking is dangerous, and this ban is a good step to trying to minimize a driver’s distractions.
But this law has holes, and while the intentions are good, it isn’t likely to have the effect it’s aiming for. It is a law that most officers will find difficult to impose, and even with the obvious struggles in enforcement aside, 50 bucks isn’t punishment enough to curb people’s bad habits.
Unless Colorado implements stricter consequences, most people, especially students, won’t stop texting while driving.
We need to start looking at laws and methods of teaching that emphasize the importance of focus on the road. And in the meantime, we all need to start leaving the phone alone until the keys are out of the ignition.