Don't text and drive

By Eugene Clark
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, October 3, 2013
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I am sure all readers have had the experience of an inattentive driver who is clearly texting or on their cell phone while driving. Unfortunately, a high percentage of readers will be guilty of having done so themselves as well.

Technology can be a distraction as well as a help. [File photo]

The fact is technology can be a distraction as well as a help. When the person being distracted is a driver, the consequences can be tragic and in the worst case scenario even fatal. Studies have shown that over 20 percent of traffic accidents are the result of using a mobile phone, especially for texting, while attempting to drive. Road deaths attributed to accidents caused by driver distraction due to texting and related activity have now become a leading cause of death among teenagers, many of whom are in the habit of sending well over 100 texts a day.

To deal with this growing problem, many jurisdictions around the world have passed laws prohibiting the use of cell phones while driving. Given the popularity of texting among teenagers, some jurisdictions limit the ban to those under the age of 18.

As of January of this year, in China it is now a crime for a driver to dial or hold a phone when behind the wheel. However, China does permit a driver to talk on the phone while using Bluetooth. The punishment for being caught using your mobile phone while driving is a two-point penalty and a fine of up to 200 yuan.

Many would argue that this measure does not stretch far enough, because being interrupted to take a phone call or chatting away on a phone is still a significant distraction. In China's increasingly congested traffic conditions where cars are constantly changing lanes and motorbikes, bicycles and pedestrians are all darting in, out and about, any distractions can lead to an unacceptable loss of life and limb for Chinese citizens.

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