Message you can’t wait to send can kill

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Message you can’t wait to send can kill

Postby admin » Tue Feb 22, 2011 10:39 am

I REFER to “The onus is still on you” (The Star, Feb 9) which discussed the senseless loss of lives, especially during festive seasons. It detailed the causes of accidents among which was watching movies while driving, which the JPJ has proposed to ban.

Citing that watching movies could lead to distracted driving, the editorial called on Malaysians to give up some personal conveniences for the greater benefit of the public good.

What about texting and tweeting while driving? Has the Government compiled statistics to show that it causes fatal road crashes? Maybe the drivers in fatal bus accidents were doing it. Yes, it’s time to impose a ban on texting or twitting while driving. Slap a hefty fine on drivers who engage in such activities.

It is my main nag with my children when I get into their car. I will snatch the phone away and switch it off.

A long time ago the favourite past-time during traffic jams was fixing make-up as well as nose and ear digging. Now it’s texting. And as the Sunday Star report “Look where you walk” (Feb 20) said, it’s also a common scene at the shopping malls, and even on busy streets.

The world saw on TV the Pennsylvania woman who fell into a fountain while texting. She wants to sue the mall, but she’s the butt of jokes among Americans who think the mall should be suing her.

I did warn my children about falling into the drain if they did the same. My son fell into a drain while texting when walking to his office. He limped home to change clothes and said: “Mom you are right.”

An American survey found that 71% of those aged between 18 and 49 admitted they text and talk on the phone while driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in the United States, distracted drivers killed about 6,000 people in 2008.

A study conducted in the same year found, that during daytime, drivers in more than 800,000 vehicles were using cell phones.

In September 2008, a Los Angeles commuter train conductor missed a red-light while sending and receiving text messages. His packed train collided head-on with a freight-train, killing him and 24 others and injuring 35 passengers. It was the second worst commuter train crash in US history.

Following that, then California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law a ban in the state on using hand-held communication devices while driving. His wife Maria Kennedy Shriver was not spared when caught using a cell phone while driving. She was dragged to court.

It’s a concerted effort in America with talk-show queen Oprah Winfrey engaging celebrities to drive home a No-Phone Zone Pledge Day with the advice “the message you can’t wait to send, could kill.”

We can also do this. We have long imposed the use of hands-free phones when driving but not many are observing this.

Read the full article:
http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?fi ... &sec=focus
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