Hand-Held Phone Ban For Drivers In Meridian
The streets of Meridian have gone INSANE. We all know that Eagle Road is a death trap and an impossible but necessary way to get from one end of Meridian to the other. Now streets like Meridian Road and UStick are becomeing just as bad with backed up cars, construction, and accidents.
Meridian is growing fast and the roads just cannot keep up with all of the people. There were 81 accidents on Meridian Roads last year that had something to do with a driver using their cell phone. Oh, and that's just the ones where drivers admitted to using their phones.
Meridian also saw an increase of more than 120 crashes from 2017 to 2018. That's just one year we're talking about. So what's the answer? How do we come up with a solution to keep our roads safer and moving along smoother?
Idaho News released an article stating that the Meridian Police Department is working with the Meridian City Council and some believe that a cell phone ban while driving is necessary. Right now you cannot text while driving but it's absolutely legal to pick up your phone and answer or send out a call. Some believe that ANY use of a cell phone while driving is too distracting and has become a danger that in some cases ends up with crashes that are not only dangerous but fatal. Others believe it's our right to responsibly be able to use cell phones while driving.
Here are some facts about the history of accidents and driving on Meridian Roads...
- 81 accidents in Meridian where drivers admitted to using a cellphone — such as texting, reviewing a text or email, looking at caller ID, talking on the phone or reviewing GPS
- Increase of over 120 crashes from 2017 to 2018
- Distracted driving was a factor in 19% of the 25,851 motor vehicle crashes in 2017 in Idaho (That's 1 in 5)
- 39 people were killed in distracted-driving crashes in 2017 (According to the Idaho Department of Transportation)
- Using a hand-held phone while driving increases the risk of crashing by 2 to 3.5 times
Cell phone bans are already in effect in some of our next-door neighbors. Oregon, Washington, and Nevada all have hefty fines for anyone caught with a cell phone in their hand while driving. A total of 16 states across America have cell phone bans and parts of Idaho have already enforced this as well. Pocatello, Idaho Falls, Hailey and Ketchum all have city-wide bans with fines of up to $200 if caught.
Meridian officials are taking the next couple of months to listen and investigate what the citizens of Meridian want and then a decision will be made. We'll keep you posted.