WBTV Speak Out: Curtailing Distracted Driving

WBTV Speak Out Editorial: Curtailing Distracted Driving

"Speak Out" is an expression of opinion from the Editorial Board of WBTV, and is presented by editorial board member, Jess Sessoms.

Remember the old Driver's Ed mantra: "Hands at ten and two…Heads-up driving…pay attention to the road ahead"?

Well, a lot of us have seemingly forgotten those lessons. Last year some 3000 people died in distracted driving tragedies.

In 2008, North Carolina teen Brian Garlock died while making a phone call from behind the wheel.

Senate Bill 393, the "Brian Garlock Act," would make using a cell phone or other electronic communications device illegal while operating a car or truck.

It would be illegal to hold one of these while driving a car on North Carolina roads, highways or streets.

Texting while driving is already against the law. But it's tough to enforce.

Infractions are even tougher for prosecutors to prove in court when challenged.

To be clear, this law would not ban the use of cell phones in vehicles.

But it would force drivers to use a hands-free device.

That means things like sitting at a stop light and reading texts or looking for directions on your phone would be unlawful.

This proposal would end the ambiguity for police.  If your cell phone is in your hand, you're breaking the law.

We support the Brian Garlock Act. It's time to get back to the life and death business of driving.

You might be able to multi-task at your desk, but not safely in a vehicle.

Behind the wheel it's time we all paid a little closer attention to the road ahead.

It could save your life or the life of someone you love.

We support a "Hands Free N-C."

Tell us what you think, SpeakOut@wbtv.com.