The National Safety Council is working to encourage businesses to adopt policies regarding their employees’ use of cell phones while driving. They are also asking legislators in all fifty states to ban the use of cell phones and messaging devices while driving.
Accidents happen almost every day involving cars, but other means of transportation are just as dangerous, when in the hands of someone who is more concerned with a phone conversation or text message than doing their job.
Friday, May 8th, fifty people were hurt in a trolley collision! The conductor admitted he was “texting” at the time of the collision. Although the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority bans operators from using cell phones, it seems this person who was responsible for the safety of others was using his cell phone anyway.
Last September, twenty-five persons were killed and more than 135 injured when a train collided head-on with another train. The engineer was using his cell phone to send and receive text messages on both morning and evening shifts that he was working. Reports from the National Transportation Safety Board indicated that during a two-hour period, he sent 24 messages and received 21; later that day, he received 7 more and sent 5- the last one less than 25 seconds before the crash. The Federal Railroad Administration is developing a coast-to-coast monitoring system that will furnish a positive train control system to save lives by having the capability to intervene in the case of human error. This system will take approximately five years before being ready.
Is there any cell phone conversation or text message that can’t wait until you get out from behind the wheel? It seems such a simple thing: to call someone rather than wait until you are home, but think about the cost to yourself, or maybe others if you become distracted. If you are a passenger in a car, bus, plane, or train, do you want your life to be in the hands of a person whose attention is diverted by some phone conversation?
The next time you get behind the wheel, we hope you will give this message some thought. Pay attention to the road and other drivers. That message can wait.