Legislation to allow hands-free driver texting signed into law Friday the 13th.

Really? Reeeeeaaallly? You are kidding me right? Hey! California lawmakers, you have heard of the term “Distracted Driving? Tell me this is a bad joke. Here I thought I got through Friday the 13th without anything bad happening. I was wrong.

“Under legislation that Governor Jerry Brown signed into law today, California motorists can dictate, send or listen to text-based messages while they’re behind the wheel if they’re using voice-activated, hands-free devices, reports The Sacramento Bee

This is terrrrrrible news. There is a tremendous amount of research about distracted driving  being a cognitive issue, not a hands-free issue. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) wants a ban on hands-free calls by drivers when they’re at the wheel.
 Distracted driving has eclipsed drunk driving as the number one safety concern of the driving public, reports Negligent Driving.
Distracted driving is the number one killer of American teens. Alcohol-related accidents among teens have dropped. But teenage traffic fatalities have remained unchanged, because distracted driving is on the rise. (Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and State Farm Insurance Study and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Study)
Understanding cognitive distraction – Distracted Driving – see the video below.

 More from the Sacramento Bee
Assemblyman Jeff Miller, R-Corona, paints AB 1536, which takes effect Jan. 1, as allowing drivers to use the “most modern communications systems and devices while maintaining the safety of hands-free operation,” according to a legislative committee analysis.

Miller contends that Americans spend an average of 64 minutes per day commuting to and from work, and that it is “unfair to require them to be out of touch while behind the wheel as long as they are abiding by the law,” the analysis said.

Wait a minute…what did you just say Mr. Miller? You said it is…

“…unfair to require them to be out of touch while behind the wheel…”

Unfair? Really? Good heavens, grow up. Do the right thing.
64 minutes means about a half an hour each way, right? We put lives in jeopardy because we can’t be alone with ourselves for even a half an hour? We are all so self wrapped.
We think what we say is so important. So important in fact, that it must be heard and heard now. Obsessed with our own lives and instant gratification, we are losing our ability to delay gratification. Being patient will be a lost art. Having patience will become obsolete.

Shame on you Mr. Miller. Shame on you Governor Brown. Shame on you California lawmakers, where there was little opposition to this bill. So apparently you can be bipartisan and can agree on something up in Sacramento. Only instead of using your power for good, you choose the antithesis for your constituents. Will you all take responsibility for the people that will be maimed or die in the collisions that happen when drivers talk-text hands-free? Wow, I guess so.

Oh, and those collisions…they will happen. People will die as a direct result of this bill. Distracted driving causes nearly 40% of  all collisions, says Automotive Fleet…

“Two studies show driver distraction due to technology is still a key factor in accidents, although most respondents claim use only in stopped traffic. Regulations and media attention have resulted in reduced technology use while driving. Four in 10 accidents a Result of technological distraction. Click here for a PDF of the full article, including charts.”

Can you say sue? I don’t mean to be flip, and by all means, I want to be “fair”.
After all, people need to take personal responsibility for themselves.
And you know what the NRA…ooops I mean, what the wireless carriers say,
cell phones don’t kill people, people kill people.

Yeah, people texting and driving.

In the next installment of Digital Danger, we will hear stories.


graph provided by Negligent Driving

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