A recent study by the NPD Group, a market research company, found that 84% of vehicle owners have a portable media device and more than three quarters of them (79%) are using them in the car. These devices are also used regularly with half of smart phone owners and 37% of iPOD owners saying they use their devices "always" or "most of the time" while driving.
If you don't believe the study results, the next time you stop at a red light look around. If you haven't noticed already, many drivers are either texting away or have their phone glued to their ear. No wonder then that this week a Missouri State Senate committee endorsed a bill authored by Senator Bill Stouffer of Napton that would create a new traffic offense for people who fail to give "full time and attention " to their driving. "Driving while distracted" would be a misdemeanor under this proposed law and would carry a penalty of up to 15 days in jail and a $300 fine.
Senator Stouffer says the charge could apply to people who text while driving. But he says drivers should still be able to use hands-free devices that allow them to keep their eyes on the road. There is no doubt that distracted driving has become a major problem on the Heartland's roadways. We must do better. Me included. Let's all do our part by focusing on the road more and on our phones less when we hit the road. Safer roadways are worth the sacrifice.Mine is just one of many viewpoints. If you'd like to comment I want to hear from you. Click here to e-mail your response on-line right now, or write me at the address below. Either way, be sure to include your name and hometown in case we use your comment on the air.