FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
Distracted drivers are a deadly threat... and this includes anyone talking on cell phones, texting, eating, putting on make-up, etc. while behind the wheel of a moving vehicle. It's estimated that 6,000 people were killed - and more than half a million injured - in 2008 in crashes involving a distracted or inattentive driver.
One study shows 80 percent of crashes are related to drivers not paying attention... and people using handheld devices are four times as likely to get in crashes that could result in injury.
Safety advocates say they're especially worried about young people... saying that some of the kids learning to drive now text 5,000 times a month. This is scary.
Washington wants people to take this threat more seriously... there's one Senate bill that would reduce federal highway funding for states that don't ban texting while driving.
President Obama signed an executive order that bans federal employees from texting while behind the wheel. The government also plans to ban texting by bus drivers and truckers who cross state lines; and possibly prevent them from using cell phones while driving. Hundreds of companies have already banned employees from using cell phones while driving.
The problem is - there's no enforcement. I see literally dozens of people yakking away on cell phones in cars every day on my ride into work from New Jersey. They change lanes, slam on their brakes, swerve all over the road... all while lost in their own little worlds on their cell phones.
Want to get serious? Yank their drivers' licenses - permanently - if they cause an accident while driving distracted.
Here’s my question to you: What’s the answer to people who insist on driving while doing other things?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Bob from Houston writes:
Automobiles could be made with shields in the roofs that block the ability of the cell phone to get through to the signal or some sort of device in the dashboard that interferes with the cell phone's ability to get through to the signal once the engine is turned on. How about a device that renders the cell phone useless once the car's speed exceeds 5 mph? Use technology to make people get off the road and stop the car if they want to use their cell phones while inside a car.
The cell phone problem is easy. The cops should take the phone and mail it to our troops. Second offense: take the car. There is a section in most vehicle codes for unsafe driving that covers the rest of what drivers do. Problem is enforcement and what the judges do about it.
Any time a collision occurs, one of the routine checks should be whether the driver has a cell phone number and, if so, whether that phone was in use at the time of the collision. If so, the driver on the phone should be charged will full responsibility for the accident, including all damages and possible criminal charges such as vehicular assault, homicide, etc. If both drivers are using mobile devices, they share the charges equally.
Sean from Phoenix writes:
In Maricopa County, Arizona, you know, the county with the "toughest sheriff in America", if you're stopped while driving on a suspended license, the police take you to jail – even though your stay is just under 24 hours. They don't have to take you, but it is done to prove a point. The same should apply to these drivers who put the rest of us in danger and I bet we'd start seeing change. Lock 'em up!
How come it's taking so long for all cars to be fitted with ways for communication to be sent to the driver without the use of their hands? If I could get my text messages on my windshield and be able to speak my response and have it sent back as a text then I wouldn't have to struggle to tell my boss I'm late because I'm stuck behind Jack Cafferty taking his sweet time cruising into work.