An organization advocating cellphone-free driving is calling on government and law-enforcement agencies to automatically revoke driving licenses of people caught texting while behind the wheel.
FocusDriven says texting is a dangerous and deadly behaviour that takes drivers’ minds and eyes off the road and their hands off the steering wheel. The advocacy organization says strengthening penalties, such as automatically revoking driver’s licenses, will contribute to curbing the behaviour and, ultimately, prevent crashes and save lives.
“A drunk driver knowingly engages in reckless driving due to alcohol impairment. Cell phones impair a driver’s ability to safely operate a vehicle. Impairment is impairment,” states FocusDriven executive director Rob Reynolds. “The penalties should be the same for these violations – including automatic license revocation and even jail.”
According to the FocusDriven website, texting causes a person operating a motor vehicle to look away from the road for approximately 4.6 seconds. At highway speed, a car travels a distance of three football fields (360 yards or 327.5 metres) while the driver is looking away from the road. The organization further claims that drivers reading or typing messages contribute to, at least, 100,000 motor vehicle accidents a year.
FocusDriven – Advocates for Cell-free Driving is a non-profit advocacy organization for victims of motor vehicle crashes involving drivers using mobile phones. The group’s goal is raise public awareness regarding the dangers of driver distraction due to usage of a cellphone.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 39 states and the District of Columbia ban texting while driving, yet only 10 states and the D.C. area have laws in place banning drivers from using any hand-held device while in control of a vehicle