The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

April 9, 2013

Operation Chain Reaction

The Register-Herald

— Less than 90 days from now law enforcement authorities in West Virginia will be able to stop people, and ticket them, for using hand-held communication devices while operating a vehicle.

It can’t come quick enough.

At any time we invite you to find yourself a spot that borders any road, it could be a parking lot, your driveway, front porch — and just observe the number of people who have cell phones up to their ears or are looking down at messages or even texting.

People using cell phones and other electronic devices is an addiction itself and when it happens in motor vehicles it can be deadly.

But add to that those putting on makeup, shaving, smoking, eating ... you get the idea.

And these people are sober.

It’s downright scary.

Thousands of people are dying or being injured annually by distracted drivers. The number of accidents due to individuals talking on phones, texting, munching down on a breakfast burrito, brushing their hair ... far surpass drunk and drugged offenders.

Awareness campaigns have been ramped up at all levels and on Monday the West Virginia State Police unveiled a new distracted driving initiative, labeled Operation Chain Reaction.

They are going to be on the lookout for distracted drivers and they are going to be identifying and stopping motorists that aren’t focused on driving.

“Start a Chain Reaction, Eliminate Distraction” will certainly serve a purpose as law enforcement continues to work towards making our roadways safer.

Think about it the next time you get behind the wheel.