According to a new study, states that have a law banning texting and driving saw fewer accidents caused by the use of cell phones behind the wheel.
States with bans on texting and driving saw an average four percent decrease in emergency room visits after crashes. An equivalent of over 1,600 traffic related visits a year.
The Hagerstown police department explains the law on this topic in Maryland.
“It’s driving while sending, receiving, reading a text message through your phone while you’re in the travel portion of the lane it’s a $70 fine, and it is a primary reason to be pulled over,” Heather Aleshire said, the Hagerstown Police Public Information Officer. In the U.S., 47 out of 50 states currently have laws restricting texting while driving.
The states looked at in this study have these bans as primary laws, meaning drivers can be pulled over for texting regardless of whether another traffic violation took place. Police tell us what they look for while keeping the streets safe.
“Swerving, people reaching down to grab their phone is a big one maybe not coming to a complete stop at a stop sign or getting to close to cars because they have to slam on the breaks because they’re reading something and the cars in front of them have stopped,” Aleshire said. Some states implement this as a secondary law which sanctions drivers for texting only after another violation took place, like running a red light.
The Hagerstown police department says with this law in place, they too are seeing fewer texting and driving accidents.”The governors and different places get grant money to go out and curb down the amount of people using their phones while driving,” Aleshire said. Just like “click-it-or-ticket” police officers want to remind everyone why it’s important to put down the phone when behind the wheel.
“The ultimate consequence is wrecking and dying or wrecking and hurting someone else I mean that would be the ultimate consequence,” Aleshire said.