Better Left Unread Than Dead

Shiane D. Jacocks

On January 1, Governor Jerry Brown put in effect a bill that would put more restrictions on drivers using their mobile devices. 

This includes keeping the cellphone on the dashboard or cup-holder, while running a GPS. This rule reinforces an existing policy for Uber and Lift drivers, who are required to have a hands-free device mounted on their dashboard or risk getting their account canceled. 

Angelo Stewart of the Los Angeles Police Department, stated, “People try to justify the law. They make every excuse in the book. It’s a distraction, people can get easily distracted.” That is to say—If it’s a distraction for workers, then it can be a distraction for all drivers. 

In a world where technology can make almost anything possible, like using an app to catch a ride, new laws are necessary to keep the balance. 

Technology is going to continue to grow, now that we have smartphones and smartwatches that make it easy to text and check social media whenever the driver wants. How many times has a driver found themselves in an accident because of the use of cellphones? According to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), “Dialing drivers took their eyes off the forward road for an average of 3.8 seconds.” 

FMCSA stated, “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 while driving.” 

In regards to the new law Stewart stressed, “It’s a good bill. It provides protection.” It is also a law that reinforces the adage—Better unread than dead. If it’s easy to send a text, it’s easy to pull over.

Works Cited: Mobile Phone Restrictions Fact Sheet. (2013, December 30). Retrieved March 16, 2017 from https://www.fmsca.dot.gov.

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