Driving can be a downright perilous endeavor. Think of the major roadways in the south metro area. From about 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., you can pretty much …
This item is available in full to subscribers.
If you're a print subscriber, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one.
Click here to see your options for becoming a subscriber.
If you made a voluntary contribution in 2022-2023 of $50 or more, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one at no additional charge. VIP Digital Access includes access to all websites and online content.
Driving can be a downright perilous endeavor.
Think of the major roadways in the south metro area.
From about 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., you can pretty much count on tons
of traffic. There’s usually some type of road work that takes away
an available lane at some point. Rain or snow compounds the
Why make it worse?
Why tie up traffic and put lives in danger with a cell
I know, this is not a new discussion. Frankly, it’s getting
Here’s a scene that I’ve become all-too familiar with:
Red light turns green. The motorist in front of me, phone in
hand, is oblivious. More than 10 seconds pass before said driver
looks up at the light then steps on the gas and bolts away like
Secretariat. The rest of us shake our heads and possibly drop an
expletive or eight.
Better to be late starting than late stopping, though.
A distracted teenage driver in Denver ran a red light and killed
a woman on June 6, police say.
We haven’t been told what the distraction was, I should note. We
don’t know if it was talking or worse, texting, on the cell — both
of which are illegal for motorists under the age of 18 in Colorado
— or something else.
Talking and texting are only two among myriad possible driving
distractions — eating and grooming are a couple others. Cell phone
abuse just happens to be the most common form these days, it
I’ve seen the guy shaving behind the wheel on his way to work. I
just haven’t seen him every day on every road for the past
Nearly 6,000 people died in crashes in 2008 involving a
distracted driver, and more than half a million were injured,
according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. A
Carnegie Mellon study shows using a cell phone behind the wheel
reduces the amount of brain activity associated with driving by 37
I found those figures on the U.S. government’s official website
on distracted driving, www.distraction.gov. The very fact
this site exists is testimony to the problem.
It’s good to have a resource like the website, but I don’t need
a meteorologist to tell me it’s hot outside.
Traffic feels choppier these days, with less of a flow to it.
The mix of inattentive, frustrated and angry drivers can’t be good
for keeping streets safe. Road rage, anyone?
It’s time to talk turkey.
While no state has banned all cell phone use while driving,
seven have made it illegal to talk on a handheld phone, according
to the Governors Highway Safety Association.
In 2009, Colorado lawmakers, like those in many other states,
banned texting and driving. Legislators here also barred teen
drivers from using a cell phone at all, another common move among
As adults, we were left with the privilege of talking and
From what I can see, we’ve abused that privilege. Now it should
be taken away.
If stamping out distracted driving is what we’re after, then
simply making it a rule to use a headset is probably not
A study by the Highway Loss Data Institute earlier this year
showed no reduction in crashes in states that mandated hands-free
cell phone use.
A University of Utah study found that using a cell phone while
driving, hand-held or hands-free, delays a driver's reactions as
much as having a blood alcohol concentration of .08 percent —
that’s legally impaired, by the way.
During their next session, state legislators in Colorado should
take a hard look at outlawing all cell phone use by motorists.
We should set a good example for younger drivers.
Can we not talk?
Chris Rotar is a news editor for Colorado Community
Other items that may interest you
We have noticed you are using an ad blocking plugin in your browser.
The revenue we receive from our advertisers helps make this site possible. We request you whitelist our site.