Can Distracted Driving Be Stopped
Many Connecticut residents see other drivers clearly using their cell phones while behind the wheel on a regular basis despite the fact that public awareness about distracted driving has been increasing in the past few years. WTNH.com even indicated that a group of cities across the state made this problem a top priority for an entire month during a Distracted Driving High Visibility Enforcement Campaign.
The Hartford Courant explains that state lawmakers are reviewing the current fines associated with a distracted driving violation and may raise them. It is not known what any new penalties might be but currently a driver may pay as little as $150 if caught texting while driving.
With almost 3,500 deaths in 2015 attributed to distracted driving according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, it seems something must be done.
Mapping phone use to accidents a challenge
According to the National Security Council, law enforcement agencies and prosecution teams around the nation face problems when it comes to proving that the use of a phone contributed to a vehicle accident. There is virtually no way for this connection to be conclusively proved today.
One reason this is so is that the honesty of drivers is required. This is a problem not only because many people would not want to admit they were distracted by a phone before a crash but also because that driver themselves may be injured and unable to provide testimony.
Phone companies have not wanted to hand over records after crashes. If such records are even able to be obtained later on, it is sometimes too late into the investigation and the facts are not added retroactively to a police or accident report.
Technology may hold a glimmer of help
One man has put his grief at the death of his son due to a distracted driver to work for good. Fox Business tells about how the father has worked to develop a device that would give officers the ability to scan cell phones for use but not for data. This would enable them to effectively attribute phone use to the cause or at least a cause of an accident.
Because the device measures only for activity and not data, the security concerns that many have voiced up until now would not be an issue. Connecticut’s neighbor New York is evaluating the use of this technology by the state legislature this year.
Further efforts are needed to gain ground
Progress may be in the works but more help is likely needed if a real crackdown on distracted driving is to happen. In the meantime, those involved in crashes caused by drivers on their phones should always reach out to an attorney for help. The more effort that Connecticut residents put to this cause, the more chance there will be for true safety improvements on the road.