Austin, TX (Law Firm Newswire) March 14 , 2013 – How do police officers enforce texting while driving? How do they know someone is texting if they hide what they are doing?
“The issue of texting while driving causing accidents is a complete no-brainer,” said Austin personal injury attorney Bobby Lee, of Lee, Gober and Reyna in Austin, Texas. “This is a real issue today in America and the death toll keeps getting higher with each new mobile application released. Despite people understanding that texting while driving, or surfing the Internet while driving causes accidents, they still do it, based on the premise that it won’t happen to them. Well, truth is, it will happen, one way or another.”
Across America various states are taking the position that something needs to be done about texting while driving, in order to save lives. The question then becomes twofold: what if people do not want rules and regulations banning texting while driving, because they do not want to be told what to do, even if it means saving their life? How does law enforcement police rules such as no texting/surfing while driving? “It’s not like a texting driver is always clearly visible, as many hold their phones down at steering wheel level,” Lee pointed out.
In North Dakota, the state legislature is trying to tackle the question of whether or not to implement a statewide ban, as opposed to a four city ban. The legislature currently also has its nose out of joint because the four cities did draft their own laws ahead of the state lawmakers. However, rather than sour grapes prevailing, the question still remains what to bring into law and how to enforce it in a meaningful way.
Interestingly, a Department of Transportation study indicates that commercial drivers who attempt to text while driving are up to 23 times more likely to get into a wreck. In 2010 alone, nearly 18 percent of all crashes were the result of a distracted driver. “Res ipsa loquitur, the thing speaks for itself,” said Lee. “The figures don’t lie. They point to a very disturbing and deadly trend. In short, the statistics are frightening, show no sign of dropping and something needs to be done.”
Oddly, people who do text and drive, or surf and drive, get into an uproar if they think a “right” will be taken away from them. “Frankly, better to have a ban on distracted driving than to end up dead for something that could have waited,” added Lee. The disturbing thing is though, that even if there is a statewide ban on distracted driving, no matter what the cause, people will still do it and will hide the fact they are doing it.
Will passing legislation to save people’s lives by banning distracted driving work? “Tough question, as everyone in this equation needs to have some semblance of personal accountability; something that seems to be missing in this debate,” Lee remarked.
Lee, Gober and Reyna
11940 Jollyville Road, Suite 220-S
Austin, Texas 78759