OTHER VOICES

Common sense driving

Posted June 14, 2012, at 5:23 p.m.

They’re pretty easy to spot. They’re either going way too fast or way too slow.

We’re referring to drivers who are busy with their mobile devices while attempting to navigate the roadway.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood called texting and talking on a cellular phone while driving a “national epidemic.”

He’s right.

Particularly vulnerable to problems are teens. First, they don’t have the experience behind the wheel to do anything other than drive. Adding a distraction such as texting or talking on a phone is a recipe for trouble. But in a government survey, 58 percent of high school seniors and 43 percent of high school juniors admitted they had texted or emailed while driving within the past month .

Some states, including Iowa, have passed laws that prohibit the texting practice. But that hasn’t stopped people from doing it.

Iowa law enforcement officers have written very few citations for texting while driving since the law went into effect last year.

It’s a genuine concern, especially for parents turning over the keys to the family car to a young driver. Sixteen percent of teen motor deaths can be attributed to distracted driving. ..

Messing with a mobile device while trying to navigate slippery roads is just asking for trouble.

Laws prohibiting the practice make sense, though enforcing them is hit and miss.

Common sense, though, is the best teacher.

The Hawk Eye, Burlington, Iowa (June 14)

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