Distracted driving has always been an issue for Americans countrywide, not just Tennesseans. With a new law that could possibly be passed though, distracted driving may come to an end.
The new law prohibits use of a cell phone completely while driving. If drivers are caught on their phone at all, they could receive a fine up to $60. While this may not seem like a lot, lawmakers are hoping that this small step will help stop the use of a cell phone while driving.
Recent studies have shown that Tennessee is number one in the United States for number of distracted driving deaths. Tennessee’s fatality rate ranks in at 7.2 deaths per 10 billion vehicle miles. While this may seem like not that many, this is nearly five times that of the national average which is only 1.49.
This new law could really help to prevent people from driving while on their cell phones and other hand held devices.
Joseph Boswell, who has been living in Tennessee since August, has states that he’s noticed that there’s most definitely a problem with distracted driving in the state.
He agrees with lawmakers in saying that this law could help to make the roads safer. Not only that, but it can also save lives, so it’s a crucial law to be passed.
“I don’t like new laws in general, but I do think it will reduce accidents.” Boswell says. “And insurance rates are going up, so I think over the big scene of things over time it will reduce accidents and make things safer.”
Boswell, who happens to be a cyclist and rides on the roads frequently, says that driving down any major roadway can be an absolute nightmare for any cyclist.
“I would hesitate to do that on any major roads because I know that everybody, including myself, is texting while they are driving. And all it takes is one little drift off to the side and you’ve killed a cyclist.” Boswell said.
Lives at risk
Distracted drivers are putting the lives of others at risk aside from just their own. Cyclists, other drivers, pedestrians, and people riding motorcycles face a huge risk when people are driving while on their cell phone.
Anyone caught on their phone while driving will receive a fine up to $60, as said before, but bus drivers who violate this law can receive a fine up to $100 and possibly face jail time. Punishment is clearly more severe for bus drivers because of the lives they’re putting at risk other than just their own.
Georgia has had this hands-free law for over a year now. Officials say that they’ve seen a decrease in distracted driving, which is exactly what Tennessee hopes to achieve if this law is passed.
This law helps to keep the roads safe, and passing it would definitely benefit all members of the community, even the ones who use their cell phones.