How Much Are You Willing To Pay To Text?
Why do people still text or talk on their cell phone and drive? The reasons are many, from getting details about a meeting place to updating a grocery list, to just saying hello, and a myriad of others. We have all seen the billboards, signs, online video clips about the dangers of texting. Sometimes they are an effective deterrent but obviously not enough as it still happens every day, in every town, on every road.
Some definitions from the DOT will be helpful:
392.80(c) For the purpose of this section only, driving means operating a commercial motor vehicle, with the motor running, including while temporarily stationary because of traffic, a traffic control device, or other momentary delays. Driving does not include operating a commercial motor vehicle with or without the motor running when the driver moved the vehicle to the side of, or off, a highway, as defined in 49 CFR 390.5, and halted in a location where the vehicle can safely remain stationary.
390.5 Texting means: manually entering alphanumeric text into, or reading text from, an electronic device. This includes, but is not limited to, short message service, e-mailing, instant messaging, a command or request to access a Web page, or pressing more than a single button to initiate or terminate a voice communication using a mobile phone or engaging in any other form of electronic text retrieval or entry, for present or future communication.
390.5 Using a hand-held mobile telephone means:
(1) Using at least one hand to hold a mobile telephone to conduct a voice communication;
(2) Dialing or answering a mobile telephone by pressing more than a single button, or
(3) Reaching for a mobile telephone in a manner that requires a driver to maneuver so that he or she is no longer in a seated driving position…
Let’s talk straight. How often do you do it? Do you know the consequences? The reason you are on the road is to make money. So how much of your money are you willing to part with in case you get caught? Do you know the downside? Maybe it will help if we can spread the word about the financial side….
How much will it cost me?
1st violation: Penalties can be up to $2,750 for drivers and up to $11,000 for employers who allow or require drivers to use a hand-held communications device for texting or talking while driving.
2nd violation (within 3 years): Mandatory 60 day suspension + up to $2750 (driver)
3rd violation (within 3 years): Mandatory 120 day suspension + up to $2750 (driver)
Can you imagine the financial pain? Can you afford it?
How can you prevent the need to engage in these potentially deadly behaviors? There are some great ideas out there that I would like to share:
- Start your day about 15-20 minutes sooner than normal and plan your day-think about what you may encounter and prepare for it.
- If you know you will need to contact people through the day set aside a certain time once or twice a day to pull over and make all of your calls at once.
- Enter phone numbers into your speed dial settings so they can be activated with just the touch of a button.
- Invest in a “Blue-tooth” type device so you can keep your hands on the wheel.
- If you are expecting calls pre-program your voice mail with a message letting people know you are driving and will return the call at a pre-determined time, or as soon as you can safely do so.
- Leave your cell phone in the sleeper or a duffel bag that is not accessible so you aren’t tempted to do it “just this one time”.
- Let your employer, friends, and family know that this is how you handle the phone while driving so they aren’t expecting an instant answer.
- Stick to your commitment and encourage others to do the same