September 27, 2012

Hang up And Drive

Leader’s Forum

Col. Robert Kuckuk
MCAS Commanding Officer

You may have noticed our PMO officers out of their patrol cars hanging out on corners. What they are doing is watching for people who are choosing not to follow the station order prohibiting cell phone use while driving on base.

If you are using your cell phone either to talk or text while driving you’re going to get a ticket. Don’t get mad at PMO. That’s just their way of telling you to follow the rules, and I told them to do it.

Cell phone use while driving is dangerous. You can pretend it isn’t, but you would be wrong. Saying you can drive “perfectly fine” while texting or talking is exactly the same as saying you can drive “perfectly fine” after having a couple drinks. We all know that’s wrong. So, don’t do it on base. Plan ahead, pull over, or wait until you get to where you’re going.

A few statistics tell the story: You are 23 times more likely to be in a crash if texting while driving. 3100 people died last year alone (that’s more than all of MAG-13!) and 416,000 were injured in distracted driving crashes. When you text you take your eyes off the road for almost 5 seconds…try closing your eyes for 5 seconds while driving! On second thought…don’t do that, because that would be STUPID! But it’s exactly the same as texting.

So hang up and drive, please. If you must talk while driving get a blue tooth or other hands free device. Leave the texting for later. It’s not worth your life, or someone else’s life.  Don’t be one of the 3100.

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