Mov­ing back­ward on Colorado’s tex­ting and driv­ing law

The Denver Post - - OPINION - Re: Deb­o­rah A.P. Hers­man,

“Did Colorado just make it le­gal to text and drive?” June 21 news story.

Mo­tor ve­hi­cle deaths in Colorado jumped 11 per­cent in 2016 over 2015, ac­cord­ing to pre­lim­i­nary es­ti­mates from the Na­tional Safety Coun­cil. This trend should prompt im­me­di­ate ac­tion to save lives, but in­stead, law­mak­ers have amended the state’s tex­ting ban to al­low driv­ers to text if they are not do­ing so in “a care­less of im­pru­dent man­ner.” This pro­vi­sion is ill-ad­vised at best, and a death sen­tence at worst. There never is a good time to over­turn a life-sav­ing law. But now, af­ter a year in which an es­ti­mated 600 Coloradans died in pre­ventable crashes, is par­tic­u­larly ir­re­spon­si­ble.

Re­search clearly shows the risks of tex­ting while driv­ing — even through a voice-ac­ti­vated, hands-free sys­tem. To legally al­low driv­ers to do so de­fies law­mak­ers’ re­spon­si­bil­ity to pass pro­tec­tive laws. Dis­tracted driv­ing is a pub­lic health cri­sis. Rather than find the vac­cine, Colorado has po­ten­tially ac­cel­er­ated an epi­demic.

Itasca, Ill. The writer is pres­i­dent and CEO of the Na­tional Safety Coun­cil and for­mer chair­man of the Na­tional Trans­porta­tion Safety Board.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.