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Cell phones, texting and driving is dangerous

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Posted: Monday, February 1, 2010 12:00 am

Talking and texting — a deadly combination when driving.

An alarming statistic: 6,000 people are killed annually as a direct result of cell phone and texting usage. The lack of driving focus caused by such usage impairs people so much that it becomes the equivalent of driving drunk or worse.

Recent research surveys also tell us that 71 percent of those surveyed not only admitted to cell phone and/or texting usage, but also boasted about their assumed ability to multi-task as a means to justify this usage. Scientific reality, however, tells us that we possess a trait called inattentive blindness, wherein the brain prohibits us from safely focusing on driving while engaged in another activity.

Yes, this is a dangerous game being played. So what's the point? Six thousand people killed annually is the point. They do not merely represent a statistic, but somebody's mother, father, sister, brother, grandparent, aunt, uncle, colleague or close friend — real people with real lives unnecessarily shortened.

Yes, this is a dangerous game being played. So what's the point? The point is that driving while engaged in cell phone usage or texting is against the law! Rational people usually understand that when a law needs to be enacted, common sense tells us to fall in line and obey it. However, the common widespread use of cell phones and texting by drivers is a contradiction to common sense, and a deadly compromise to public safety.

People expect overburdened police officers to carry the sole responsibility for law enforcement. They'll do their job. But will we do ours?

We all share responsibilities under the law to alert those we know of the deadly repercussions involved in this practice. To do nothing is to allow this dangerous game to be played. So what's the point? The privilege of operating a vehicle demands responsibility and an obligation for personal accountability to the state of California and our fellow citizens.

So, let's be fully focused at all times while driving. After all, wouldn't it be great to eliminate this dangerous game being played?

Ray Schramm

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