Primary Texting Bans Do Contribute to Lower Accident Fatalities

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 3, 300 people were killed in 2011, in accidents directly caused by a distracted driver. There has been a lot of debate on California’s ban on text messaging devices while driving, and its effectiveness in helping prevent accidents. According to the results of a new study released recently, bans that come with primary enforcement do a much better job of helping lower accident and fatality numbers. The research was conducted at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health. The researchers analyzed laws against texting while driving like the one that exists in California, and the effect of these laws on traffic accident fatalities. Several states have passed laws banning texting while driving. In some states, these laws are linked to secondary enforcement, while in other states, the law is linked to primary enforcement. The study found that states that had secondary enforcement did not see a significant drop in traffic accident fatalities as a result of the new laws. On the other hand, states that had primary enforcement for texting while driving bans saw a drop in traffic accident death numbers among all age categories. According to the researchers, that translates into an average of 19 saved lives every year in states that had primary enforcement. Further, when anti-texting laws were primarily enforced, and banned only young motorists from texting while driving, they were the most effective in helping reduce traffic accident fatalities in the 15-to-21 age category. In states with primary enforcement, police officers can pull a driver over to cite him when they see him using a texting device while driving, and do not have to see or notice any other traffic infraction to pull him over.

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