Text and drive or stay away from fatal accidents

How important can a text message be or can it be more important than a human’s life? Thousands of people get into accidents because of texting while driving and most of the accidents have a tragic ending. There is a reason why states are imposing hands-free driving laws and assigning fees for breaking the law. This gives a little hope that drivers would avoid texting not willing to get tickets and even points on their records.

California wanted to stiffen the fines and penalties attached to texting while driving recently but the legislation was vetoed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday, October 05, 2012. Lawmakers in the state Legislature wanted to elevate the fine for texting while driving from $20 to $30 for the first time and from $50 to $60 for the following offences. According to this bill that was not passed, the drivers would be charged a one-point penalty against their driving record after the second and any following violations. But the governor decided to veto the legislation for the second time in past few years. Gov. Jerry Brown said he did not want to change the fines as he believed that the existing ones were already high enough and adding $10 would not make a difference on drivers’ behavior. According to Brown, current law establishes a $213 total fine for cell phone use and $336 for texting while driving, which already includes county and court costs the violators need to pay. If the drivers keep getting tickets for not obeying hands-free law, they will be getting points on their records, which will eventually affect their insurance premiums and take away a good driver discount, which can be up to 20%. Paying higher premiums is another way of punishment and an additional expense that the violators of the law will be facing. The data from the California Patrol proves that the penalties and fines for texting and using a cell phone while driving definitely helps and keeps some drivers away from breaking the law. After California barred use of hand-held devices in 2008 and texting while driving in 2009, there was a 20% drop in statewide traffic fatalities after the first year of implementing hands-free laws.

No matter who text messages us, no matter what we are waiting to find out, our lives and our health are more important. Let’s stay away from unnecessary fines and violations while protecting our lives.