In our last post, we highlighted how North Carolina State Patrol officers were going undercover to catch drivers who were texting while driving. Of course, few drivers would blatantly use their phones after seeing a marked patrol car, so plain-clothed officers in state transportation department trucks would alert officers of offenders.
The measure was geared towards saving lives (and issuing citations). But a cruel example of why texting and driving are dangerous was seen last weekend in Malibu, California. Reality star Bruce Jenner was involved in a multi-car crash where several people were injured and one person was killed.
According to several media accounts, a Toyota Corolla had stopped on the Pacific Coast Highway. A Lexus sedan, ostensibly unable to stop in time, hit the Corolla. Bruce Jenner, driving a Cadillac Escalade that was towing a trailer, hit the Lexus sedan; sending it into traffic that was heading in the opposite direction. The Lexus was then struck head-on by a Humvee. The crash reportedly killed the driver in the Lexus.
Investigators believe that distracted driving was a factor in the crash, and are checking the cell phone and text message records of all drivers involved. If one of the offending drivers was on their phone, they could be charged with a crime.
Although the accident did not occur in the state of North Carolina, it certainly could happen here. As such, it is prudent for drivers to stay off their phones and not give authorities a reason to issue a citation.