Watch the Road! Not your phone: KSP & MADD fight for safer KY roadways
Distracted Driving Awareness Month
BOWLING GREEN. Ky. – When we hear the phrase ‘distracted driving’, one big No-Go jumps into our minds first.
“The first thing you think about is texting and driving,” said Kentucky State Police Post 3 Trooper Priddy. “It’s human nature to want to look down when you hear that ding or you hear that notification. But, it’s extremely dangerous to do that because it can take, on average, about two or three seconds to read a text message. If you’re driving 65 miles an hour, that three seconds is the length of a football field.”
However texting isn’t the only bad habit that leads to roadway collisions.
“Anything can be distracting,” continued Priddy. “Whether it’s you’re trying to drink coffee on your way to work, or put makeup on, or answer a cell phone or, you’re leaning down to pick up something, or tons of different things. I’ve seen people reading newspapers. I’ve seen people watching movies while they drive. All these things happen. And it’s extremely dangerous.”
KSP isn’t the only agency working to keep our roadway safer. Mothers Against Drunk Driving is working closely with Kentucky legislation to crack down on impaired drivers behind the wheel.
“There’s no mechanism for penalty enhancement for people who get DUIs when they’re under 21,” explained Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Regional Executive Director Alex Otte. “Initially, [lawmakers] thought if someone gets a DUI at 16, they should get a clean slate when they’re 21. But unfortunately, in practice, that’s not how it’s working out. It’s someone getting a DUI at 18 or getting a DUI at 20, and then when they get one again at 21, they just get to start all over again and be a first-time offender. So, that’s something we need to fix, too.”
Trooper Priddy summarizes the mindset that all drivers need to have before turning on the engine.
“Anytime you’re behind the wheel of a vehicle, you’re essentially in control of a weapon. It’s very dangerous to be out of control on the roadways, not paying attention, and you can really hurt yourself or somebody else.”