Recently we saw the federal government react to the dangers of texting while driving by issuing a ban on the practice for bus drivers and commercial truck drivers. Violations of this ban could carry the hefty fine of up to $2,750, a price intended to make the road safer for both drivers, those they share the road with, and in the case of bus drivers, the passengers who are their responsibility.
So how has this new ban been received?
PBS investigated just that question in a short spot interviewing several bus drivers and passengers. And in a word, the reaction to this ban could generally be described as positive. The bus drivers themselves were quick to see the need for this ban, recognizing that when they are behind the wheel, they may have some fifty other people depending on their care and attention, and that texting while driving would be directly opposed to being able to provide that.
“The new legislation that’s banning texting for motor coach operators and commercial drivers while driving is a thing that’s definitely needed,” said the first driver featured in the interview, whose name was not offered by PBS.
“I can’t afford to text and drive, because I’ve got to concentrate on my people,” explained another. “I’ve got to take care of my people.”
The passengers, for their part, also seem to agree with the ban, perhaps unsurprisingly since they are the ones entrusting the bus drivers with their safety. One woman interviewed expressed some confusion and curiosity as to the necessity of this ban, since she did not feel that she had often ridden with drivers who were not attentive to the road. She was left to wonder how common of an occurrence driving and texting was.
But for both of the bus drivers interviewed, there was no uncertainty. They agreed that you saw bus drivers on cell phones all the time – people attempting to multi-task while driving, and therefore putting themselves and others at risk with their distracted driving.
Of course, this small spot would imply that there are drivers who will be less willing to embrace this ban. If texting while driving is as common a problem among bus drivers as indicated, then it is most likely safe to assume that there are those drivers who will find themselves either forced to change their habits, or risking high penalties. Understanding the incredible dangers of distracted driving, I cannot say I feel a great deal of sympathy for them.
Hopefully this legislation will be a first step to greater legal and social censure regarding distracted driving. The only real protection drivers have from distracted driving is a shift within the culture that causes this dangerous practice. In this case, that means a shift away from texting and cell phone use while driving as a whole.
Have you been injured by a distracted driver? If so, contact an experienced Atlanta, Georgia auto accident lawyer immediately. You may be entitled to compensation. Call MLN Law at 404-531-9700 to schedule your free consultation.