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Don't let it wear off



Last updated 5/17/2017 at 10:55am

Students who witnessed a mock crash scene last Friday may not realize it, but they were given an important advantage that we hope they don’t squander.

As horrific as the actors and organizers of the mock accident scene made it, the impact of any such impression naturally fades over time. But at least the students of Lake Roosevelt Junior/Senior High School were subjected to the event organized by Colville Tribal Police in the first place. Now comes the tricky part.

The mock crash depicted the scene of a two-car collision with multiple deaths and injuries, all caused by a driver who had been texting.

Any impression made last Friday will be chiseled away by the ever-present and increasing temptation to just answer this one text. For various reasons, that’s a very tough temptation to overcome.

That’s why Gov. Jay Inslee just signed into law the Driving Under the Influence of Electronics Act. He even vetoed its 2019 effective date, making the new law take effect this July. Drivers will not be able to hold phones while they drive. And “hands-free” will only count if you can answer that phone with a single touch.

Distracted driving is now a major cause of crashes on the state’s highways, with fatalities having increased 32 percent from 2014 to 2015. And for 71 percent of distracted drivers, the distraction comes from a cell phone.

Still, that added legal hammer will be just one more tool we can all use to remind ourselves what a bad idea it is to pay attention to anything other than driving when behind the wheel.

And Lake Roosevelt’s students will have one more memory to contemplate as they work against succumbing to this new, modern and unfortunate human behavior.

Scott Hunter

editor and publisher


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