Friday, August 18, 2017

Ugly reality of texting, driving hits in Texas

For years it was impaired driving that took an ugly toll on our roadways. And while drunk driving still continues to be a problem, there is a new issue that has emerged that may be just as dangerous if not worse. It’s texting while driving, or distracted driving.

Last week’s tragedy that killed 13 people on a church bus outside of San Antonio, Texas appears to have in-volved a driver who had been texting behind the wheel. A witness reports that the driv-er allegedly said, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I was texting.”

Callers reported seeing a swerving pickup just minutes before the deadly crash.

Sadly, law enforcement was unable to respond to the driving complaint before the driver struck the mini-bus loaded with church people returning from a retreat. The collision, which happened in a rural area, was one of the deadliest in Texas in recent memory.

It is heartbreaking to hear about church people who had just finished a three-day re-treat and didn’t make it back home. Their bus crashed less than 10 miles from the retreat location. 

As shocking as something like this is, church members took comfort and found peace in knowing that their “mem-bers are with their Lord.”

This is a horrifying remind-er of the dangers posed by distracted driving and comes just as Minnesota police officers will be hitting the roadways looking for distract-ed drivers beginning next Tuesday and going through April 23.

The enforcement period usually ends up being one week, but for the first time it has been extended to two weeks. It’s all in an effort to crack down on drivers who aren’t focusing on their driving.
State safety experts are driving home the message that too many people are dying on the roads because drivers are not 100 percent committed to keeping their eyes on the road. It sounds so simple, but yet we live in a fast-paced society where we try to squeeze more into our already hectic life styles.

Checking e-mail, posting on Facebook, sending a text, gog-gling for information, fiddling around with the radio, eating, drinking or putting on make-up take place behind the wheel all too often.

Minnesota has a no-texting law and may soon move to banning cell phones as well. 

They all seem fairly harmless until a driver with eyes taken away from the road leads to a wreck.
In 2015 alone, distracted driving contributed to 74 deaths and 7,666 injuries on Minnesota roads.
We all need to go in hot pursuit of driving toward zero deaths on Minnesota roadways. Driving with distractions is not worth risking the lives of other motorists.

See full story in this week’s print edition or subscribe online. Please subscribe here or current subscribers can login here.

Steele County Times & DCI

Steele County Times
507-583-4431
411 E. Main St.
P.O. Box 247
Blooming Prairie, MN 55917

Dodge County Independent
507-634-7503
121 West Main St.
Kasson, MN 55944

Dodge County Printing
507-634-2661
121 West Main St.
Kasson, MN 55944

 

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