If you’re listening to this story while driving to or from work, there’s a pretty good chance the driver of the car in front of you or to either side of you is talking on a cell phone or text messaging.
This week the National Transportation Safety Board called for a nationwide ban on cell phone use while driving.
Houston’s Mike Stevenson admits to making calls while driving, but says texting should definitely be banned.
“It dangerous. People die when people are texting and driving. Absolutely. I do call on the phone. I limit it to when it’s absolutely 100 percent necessary, which is rare. But I do take and receive calls while driving, yes.”
A study done by the Triple A found that 24 percent of drivers admitted to texting while driving. Last year more than 3,000 people were killed in a distraction related accident. Kent Bissell runs Defensive Driving.com, an online driving course based in Houston.
“A lot of people say hands-off my cell phone and my car. That’s my private time. You can’t tell me what to do government. But the fact of the matter is if you’re in the vehicle next to me and you’re texting, I’d rather know you’re focused on driving so you don’t run into me.”
This issue is similar to the red light camera issue. In many cases the politicians want to pass a law in the name of safety, but the people are the ones who put up the fight.
“The vast majority of people don’t want any type of enforcement, however. They want to be able to use their phone in their car either text of via phone. And I think that’s why they’ve resisted. There was an actual legislation proposed in Texas this past year it did not pass. The cell phone lobby is very powerful in Texas and the United States — it’s going to be easier said than done.”
National Transportation Safety board member Robert Sumwalt says distracted driving is the new DUI. It’s becoming epidemic. If you don’t believe him, just look to your left or right the next time you’re in the car.