Speak Out Editorial- 8/20 - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Speak Out Editorial- 8/20

A tragic, fatal wreck on the Talmadge Bridge reminded us again of the danger that accompanies travel on our roadways.

We lost a beloved part of the Jenkins High School family, sadly one of many lives lost on Georgia and south Carolina roads this year. 

As we approach the end of summer and a busy travel period for the Labor Day holiday, here's a startling statistic for you from the Centers for Disease Control: 

"Every day nine people die and 1,060 people are hurt in crashes where distraction is reported as a cause." 

As the end of summer holiday nears, State Highway Safety officials will be ramping up their patrols and visibility as part of a national safety campaign running until Sept. 7. While we do not know the cause of the tragic accident on the Talmadge Bridge, we do know that something has got to give with distracted driving. 

Some states are already doing something by mandating hands-free driving.  Talking on a hand held cellphone while driving is against the law in 14 states, but South Carolina and Georgia are not among them in spite of evidence that the ban could save lives.

 A University of California study found overall traffic deaths dropped 22 percent during the first four years in which the state prohibited handheld devices while driving. In Illinois, traffic fatalities decreased seven percent after a hands free law went into effect. 

The WTOC Editorial Board thinks we should save lives in Georgia, South Carolina and the rest of the nation, too! There should be a federal law requiring that hands be free while driving in all 50 states. 

What do you think?

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