PA Distracted Driving vs DUI: Which is more dangerous?
I don’t like DUI drivers any more than you do. We are all well aware of the danger of drunk driving. That’s because there are huge awareness campaigns funded by powerful DUI lobbies which highlight these dangers. What most people don’t realize is that distracted driving is just as dangerous, even maybe more so. The most common forms of distracted driving are driving while talking on the phone and driving while texting.
According to the test below, driving while texting is much more dangerous than DUI.
Despite the dangers to all of us on the road, there is no statewide legislation banning driving while texting or talking on a phone on PA roads. This is a huge hypocrisy. State legislators keep increasing the mandatory minimums on DUI charges and telling us that these stricter laws are meant to protect the people of Pennsylvania. On the other hand, the laws being discussed for driving while texting or talking on a phone call for penalties in the range of $50-$100. Is this a joke?!
The fact of the matter is that lawmakers aren’t influenced by public safety as much as they are by special interests groups. There are powerful DUI lobbies pushing for stricter DUI laws while powerful cell phone lobbies pushing for no action on distracted driving legislation. The problem here in PA is so disturbing that US Transport Secretary Ray LaHood recently spoke out against the lack of action by the lawmakers in PA.
Here is a site that tracks the current legislation being discussed by PA legislators: http://handsfreeinfo.com/pennsylvania-cell-phone-laws-legislation . They run a blog that drives to bring awareness to these cases at http://handsfreeinfo.com/hfi-blog . According to one of the reports, 6,000 people have died in distracted driving accidents since 2008. I can’t say how accurate these numbers are but the problem is growing. A recent case in Pennsylvania, where a pedestrian was killed, highlights this problem and the lack of legislation to help avoid tragedies.