April is recognized as Distracted Driving Awareness Month. As the month winds down, lets not forget that distracted driving is dangerous all year long. As a service, the National Safety Council offers free tools to educate people on the dangers. Tools include:
- The pledge to drive cell free which ask drivers to not use the cell hone while driving in anyway (including hands-free)
- Distracted driving infographics which can be embedded into a website
- Fact sheets, white papers, posters and a case study
- Videos, PowerPoints, and recordings
In West Virginia, cell phone use without a hands free device is illegal and carries a fine of $100 for the first offense; $200 for the second and $300 for the third. Both texting and talking on a cell phone are primary offences (West Virginia Legislature, 2012) .
The law does not apply to ” a law-enforcement officer, a firefighter, an emergency medical technician, a paramedic or the operator of an authorized emergency vehicle in the performance of their official duties” (West Virginia Legislature, 2012,§17C-14-15(c)(1) ). Regardless of the reason, distracted driving is dangerous and the police and government officials should set the example.
National safety Council (2014). Distracted driving awareness month. Retrieved from http://www.nsc.org/safety_road/Distracted_Driving/Pages/DDAM.aspx
West Virginia Legislature (2012). Prohibited use of an electronic communications device and driving without handheld features (§17C-14-15).