07/01/13 — Safe drivers: Dangerous habits make highways much less safe today

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Safe drivers: Dangerous habits make highways much less safe today

In the wake of a recent decision not to increase the speed limit on some North Carolina highways -- and the impending July Fourth holiday weekend -- there is reason to talk about drivers and safety.

There are still people who have not gotten the message -- texting while driving, especially at high speeds, is simply not safe.

Driver inattention in general is a continuing problem on the nation's highways and roadways -- and if you pay attention locally, you will see it happening every day.

The risk these people are taking -- sometimes with their children in the car -- is beyond inexcusable, especially since they might take someone else's loved one with them if they cause a fatal crash. No matter what they say, their reaction time is diminished.

The speed limit discussion is only a minor part of the issue, but it is also a concern, as drivers take 10-15 miles per hour over the speed limit as par for the course, even on some of the nation's most tricky highways.

And those concerns do not even include those who are continuing to get behind the wheel drunk after their holiday and weekend celebrations.

And really, how often does a cell phone call really need to be made while driving?

It is time to get serious about safety -- and to regulate those who seem not to get it and whose actions put the rest of us in danger.

Slowing down, waiting to make a non-essential call and putting an absolute moratorium on texting in the car are the basics, but they are critical to getting Americans, especially our teenagers, home safe.

And there is nothing wrong with putting stricter rules on young drivers, either, especially since many of them seem to think they are immune to the horrible crashes they see on TV.

It is high time that we put some real rules with teeth in place.

That's the only way to keep our roads safe.

Published in Editorials on July 1, 2013 10:35 AM