Bringing Awareness to Distracted Driving
KREX News Room
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.- Each year millions of people are injured in vehicle accidents; thousands of these cases are linked to distracted driving.
Texting and driving continues to be a problem for many drivers.
"I personally know someone who's gotten in an accident or gotten a ticket for texting and driving," said Effanesia Baker, a senior at Colorado Mesa University.
"Both thumbs, both fingers on both hands just working the numbers and the digits," said John Ferguson, an officer with the Grand Junction Police Department.
"It's happening more and more," said Mike Zamora, outreach coordinator for Rocky Mountain Orthopaedic Associates.
As a result, officers are out on the prowl looking for violators.
"Extremely dangerous, it's one of the causal factors of motor vehicle crashes that we have in the city, and of course across the state as well," said Ferguson.
Officials say if you're 18 and under it's illegal to use a phone while driving no matter what.
"Every third or fifth car you see out there, you see the use of a cell phone in somebody's hands that's operating a vehicle," said Ferguson.
For those 18 and older it is illegal to text and drive. A first time fine is $50; the second time it is $100.
"It's kind of scary because you aren't paying attention to the road," said Baker.
Community members are trying to raise awareness.
"We all have experienced distracted driving," said Zamora.
There has been a proclamation for November to be called "Decide to Drive Month."
It's an awareness campaign sponsored by physicians to educate students and others about the dangers of distracted driving.
"With texting and using GPS devices and other things, it has really accelerated the incidents of distracted driving injuries," said Zamora.