Distracted driving has become a major road hazard not only in South Africa, but across the globe!
In New York there has recently been an enforcement initiative focused on the dangers of driving while talking on and texting from cellular phones. We would like to briefly refer to this initiative:
In the week April 23 through April 29, extra New York State troopers cracked down on cell phone usage on roadways all across New York, not only on the Thruway, but on all roadways across the state. This week-long detail was called Operation Hang Up.
The extra enforcement was paid for through a Distracted Driving Enforcement Grant from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
How big is the risk of Distracted Driving for Road Safety in the U.S?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports more than 3000 people died on U.S. roadways last year due distracted driving and the New York State Police want to do what they can to reduce that number each year for years to come.
But how do we manage to do effective traffic enforcement and punish these offenders?
Most people using their cellular phones are quick to put their phones to the side at the side of a traffic officer or road block.
The answer appears to be in the deployment of “shadow traffic officers or ghost cars”.
Coots says the department will be using what it calls Concealed Identity Traffic Enforcement vehicles, or CITE vehicles, to help the crackdown process, “if you drive by it, you wouldn’t know it’s a state police vehicle until the lights come on and a state trooper steps out and is enforcing the vehicle traffic law.”
Coots says not only is this week-long detail about keeping the roads safe this week, but in the days, months and years to come. He says having people think about this with more effort this week will hopefully get them to change their bad habits, and mindsets, and say to themselves, no, it is not ok to put other people’s lives, and their own lives, in jeopardy by talking or texting while driving.
During Thanksgiving week last year, more than 800 distracted drivers were ticketed in that one week alone.
It was the first Operation Hang Up held after the new no texting while driving law went into effect on November 1, 2011.
Distracted Driving in South Africa
On the Arrive Alive road safety information portal we have also shared information of the dangers of distracted driving, cellular phone usage and distracted driving and texting and distracted driving.
We have also referred to the benefits of technology in insuring that we can drive with both hands on the steering wheel.
For bluetooth handsfree technology to reduce the risk of distracte driving also view:
Also visit the following sections: