Is Texting-While-Driving So Dangerous That A Conviction Should Require Automatic License Revocation?

FocusDriven – Advocates for Cell-Free Driving – thinks so, recently calling for automatic license revocation for drivers who text behind the wheel stating texting is a dangerous and deadly behavior that takes drivers’ mind off the road, hands off the steering wheel and eyes off the road. Strengthening penalties for violators will help to curb the behavior, prevent crashes and save lives.

In New York, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo marked the one year anniversary of the state’s strict law to prevent distracted driving by announcing this past July that law enforcement officials issued more than 20,000 tickets to motorists for texting-while-driving violations since the law took effect on July 12, 2011, four times as many than the previous year during which New York law enforcement officials issued 4,569 tickets for texting-while-driving violations.

The law makes using a handheld electronic device for activities such as texting-while-driving a primary traffic offense, giving law enforcement the power to stop motorists solely for engaging in this activity. Additionally, the penalty for using a handheld device while driving was increased from two to three points.

Recent research has shown that motorists who use handheld electronic devices while driving are four times more likely to be involved in a crash. The behavior of such drivers can be equivalent to the behavior of drunk drivers at the threshold of the legal limit of .08 BAC. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration attributed more than 3,000 deaths last year to distracted driving, calling it a dangerous epidemic on America’s roadways.

FocusDriven is a nonprofit advocacy organization for victims of motor vehicle crashes involving drivers using cell phones. FocusDriven supports victims of cell phone distracted driving and families of victims. Its goal is to increase public awareness on the dangers of cell phone distracted driving by putting a human face on the disastrous impact of the behavior, in order to promote corresponding public policies, programs and personal responsibility.

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