The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

May 7, 2013

Better heed the law

The Register-Herald

— Texting while driving.

Here are two basic facts everyone should understand.

One, countless people die or are injured annually from those who think they need to do it. Two, it is against the law in West Virginia.

Since Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s distracted driving bill was passed by lawmakers and signed into law last year, some 125 have been convicted of the offense. More than 10 percent of those came from Beckley Municipal Court.

And come July 1, using a hand-held phone while operating a vehicle will become a primary driving offense.

Recent observations still show that drivers around here aren’t doing too much to prepare themselves for this habit change.

Our suggestion, you’d better heed the law.

We are very fortunate here in our region to have law enforcement agencies that take road patrols and highway safety seriously.

Nearly every year we are learning that police protecting roadways in our area are at the top in West Virginia for DUI arrests and now, especially within the city limits of Beckley, citing those who text while driving.

Despite strong efforts from law enforcement to inform and educate the public as to the restrictions and laws concerning usage of hand-held devices while driving, it’s quite apparent many just don’t care.

This is a lifestyle change, and it does involve life and death.

Sure, people still drink and drive, different circumstance but same concept — distracted driving.

Unfortunately, for the many who still subscribe to doing it, a change won’t likely occur until they are pulled over by police and cited for it, or they cause or are the victim in an accident.

We support law men and women enforcing these provisions, while at the same time holding our breath and doing our best to avoid the bobbing and weaving of those who text, talk and don’t pay attention while operating a motor vehicle on our roads.