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Opinion

Akron reader supports proposed texting offense

2/7/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Letter to the Editor

To the editor:

I would strongly suggest that any and all of those who oppose the newly proposed law making texting while driving a primary vs. secondary driving offense reconsider their opposing position. As reported, theirs is a most specious and indefensible position, having nothing whatsoever to do with the overall safety and well-being of the community.

Opponents of the proposed law would do well to review the findings of two separate, independent studies that were sponsored by the Pew Research Group and Car & Driver magazine, respectively. Both concluded unequivocally that texting while driving is easily as or more dangerous than driving while intoxicated. There was even one particular Car & Driver sub-study, which actually showed the reaction time of a texting driver to be some 23 percent worse than that of an impaired driver. The researchers also found there to be a significantly far greater disability factor on the part of those texting vs. those in an impaired state in keeping a safe driving distance between vehicles.

Taking one’s eye off the road while driving a vehicle is both an irresponsibly reckless and mindlessly dangerous act. By definition, in order to text one must do just that — divert their eyes from the road, and in doing so, reduce all-important reaction time. Given any reasonable measure, therefore, such conduct is easily deserving of being a primary vs. a secondary driving offense, period!

In as much as the motto “drinking and driving kills” is statistically supported, plus now given the results of the two aforementioned texting while driving studies ... then, how opponents of the proposal could look a man like Akron police officer Alan Jones (given his own particular tragic experience and recent testimony before the Akron City Council) directly in the face all the while keeping a collective straight one themselves is beyond me.

Bill Fairweather, West Akron

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