Summer vacation is nearly over; just a week and a half is all the kids have left of waking up closer to lunch than breakfast. We hope that the past three months were crammed packed with fun, sun, and exciting stories to share with classmates. The bulk of the schools will be starting August 15th this year, but you can check here for when your school starts back. We at the Craighead County Sheriff’s Office wanted to make sure that everyone is safe and lawful when around the school zones. There are two specific laws that apply and we want to take a moment to talk about them.
ACA 27-51-1501, also known as Paul’s Law, named so after Paul Davidson, father of three, from Jonesboro who was killed in a head-on collision with a driver who was allegedly texting and driving. Representative Ray Kidd, (D) from Jonesboro, sponsored the bill. §ACA 27-51-1601 Fewer Distractions Means Safer Driving Act addresses use of handheld wireless telephones in school zones and highway work zones, as well as placing age restrictions on drivers using cell phones while driving. Both of these laws are meant to make us safer drivers, just by laying down the phone and driving.
According to Distraction.Gov, the Official US Government website for distracted driving:
- If the sun is up, an estimated 660,000 drivers in America are interacting with their cell phones or other electronic devices while driving. This number has not changed since 2010.
- 2014 had 3,179 traffic fatalities and 431,000 traffic injuries from distracted drivers.
- 20somethings comprise only 23% of the total drivers, but 27% of the distracted drivers and 38% of the distracted drivers using cell phones in fatal crashes were in their 20’s.
- An astonishing 169.3 BILLION text messages were sent during 2014 in the US Territories.
- The average time eyes are averted from the road is 5 seconds. If a car is traveling 55 mph, this is this distance of a football field…blindfolded.
When driving, you are not only responsible for the safety of the occupants of your vehicle, but also the safety of those around you. Kids walking to and from school are notorious for not watching for traffic when crossing the street. Keep a watchful eye out for them, as well as the hard working folks in the road construction zones. Can you imagine being at your desk at work and cars zooming past you at 60 mph? Add to that, 33% of the drivers (and that’s just the ones that admit to it) aren’t even looking at the road. Reaching for our phones the moment a text or phone call comes in has become a habit. This is a habit that doesn’t cost anything to break, but will it will save lives. One text or call can wreck it all.
Be safe, and as always, thank you for allowing us to protect and serve you.
Sheriff Marty Boyd
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is chocked full of useful information and tips to make us all safer drivers.
If you want to print posters to help promote the One Text or Call Could Wreck It All, the links are here:
When You're texting And Driving, You're Not Really Driving: adult-final-poster-3_v2.pdf
If Your Attention Is Divided..: two-things-final-poster-2_v2.pdf