Distracted Driving Kills

From the Wichita Eagle:

Cell phone users more likely to crash

Kansas Department of Transportation records show there were 350 accidents in 2007 involving 161 injuries in which “distraction… cell phone” was listed as a contributing cause (leading to 7 deaths).

Five states and the District of Columbia prohibit the use of hand-held cell phones by drivers, and 17 states place restrictions on the use of cell phones by young drivers.

State Sen. Les Donovan, R-Wichita, who has chaired the Senate’s Transportation Committee for the past eight years, said Kansas typically lags behind the rest of the country in passing traffic safety laws. He said that’s largely the result of rural residents’ dislike of government regulation.

The Kansas Senate last year passed a graduated driver’s license bill that would have restricted cell phone use by younger drivers, but the bill died in the House.

Although that bill will probably be revived this year, Donovan said an outright ban on cell phone use isn’t likely in the near future. [ read more ]

Getting some version of distracted driver legislation moving is one of KanBikeWalk’s goals for 2009. There seems to be a growing consensus that such a law is necessary and appropriate. Please join KanBikeWalk in supporting this important issue.