According to the NYT, the U.K. is stepping up its game in the fight against dangerous driving habits. Texting behind the wheel now carries a recommended four to seven years in prison. The sad story recounted in the article shows just how dangerously distracting texting can be, as one driver rammed into the back of a stalled car (pulled over with lights flashing) so hard as to kill its occupant while her eyes were fixed on her phone.
As the Times reported back in July, texting can multiply a driver’s crash risk by 23. It’s just crazy that only a minority of states (18 + D.C.) have outlawed the practice. And just because an act is illegal, doesn’t mean that the necessary disincentives are in place to keep it from happening. Take the recently passed texting ban in New York State. Sure, you’re not supposed to text while driving, but what happens if you get caught? Only a $150 ticket. But worse than that, the only way a texting driver will get pulled over is if they’re simultaneously committing another violation. Really? You’re going to let the person text to the point where they get into an accident and then throw on an extra $150 ticket? Super helpful. Thanks for that one, Albany.
So good on you, Britain, keep it up and maybe others will follow.