City of Corpus Christi Enacts Texting and Driving Ordinance
The Corpus Christi City Council finally passed the second reading of an ordinance that will prohibit texting and driving according to the Caller-Times. The ordinance is aimed at reducing driver distraction and generally making the roads of Corpus a safer place. The new law will be effective immediately, with a maximum $500 citation for violators.
Proponents of the ordinance strongly pushed for it in light of the increase in text and driving accidents involving pedestrians and hit-and-run accidents. However, doubt has been casted as to the true effectiveness of such law, as it has not yet been closely studied. But safety authorities hold that it is common sense that distracted driving will result in accidents.
Information on the Ordinance
The ordinance prohibits the use of devices while operating a vehicle, which include both texting on talking on the phone. However, hands-free devices such as speakerphone functions and Bluetooths. In the case of an emergency call to 911, there are exceptions to the prohibition. In addition, on-duty first responders are exempt.
Citations will be delayed for the first 30 days but will be stopped by officials to be given information on the policy.
Statistics on Distracted Driving
Reported by the CDC on distracted driving:
- In 2011, 3,331 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver, compared to 3,267 in 2010. An additional, 387,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver in 2011, compared to 416,000 people injured in 2010.1
- In 2010, nearly one in five crashes (18%) in which someone was injured involved distracted driving.
- In June 2011, more than 196 billion text messages were sent or received in the US, up nearly 50% from June 2009.
- 69% of drivers in the United States ages 18-64 reported that they had talked on their cell phone while driving within the 30 days before they were surveyed.
- 31% of U.S. drivers ages 18-64 reported that they had read or sent text messages or email messages while driving at least once within the 30 days before they were surveyed.
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