JACKSON, WY— As summer approaches, Jackson’s streets are about to get busy. The Town of Jackson and Jackson Police Department remind drivers and cyclists to put their phones away while on the road.
Despite the hands-free ordinance, distracted driving/failure to use a “hands-free” device is still the second most frequently written citation, second only to speeding violations, according to the JPD. Of approximately 300 automobile crashes investigated within city limits, approximately 25 percent are a result of distracted driving. In four years, JHPD has issued 1,604 tickets and/or written warnings for driving while using an electronic device.
“Coming into the busy summer season, Jackon’s roadways and crosswalks will be filled with visitors and residents alike, which means we all need to be paying attention to the roadway and how we are driving, ” says Police Chief Todd Smith. “Operating your vehicle while on your cell phone might distract you just long enough to change your life, or someone else’s life forever. Don’t take the chance. Wait to make that call or answer that text when you are parked and keep everyone safe this season.”
And cyclists, these laws apply to you, too. Remember that bikes are considered vehicles any time they’re on the roads, and need to follow the same traffic rules: obey traffic lights and stop signs, use turn signals, and no phone use while cycling.
As important as driving hands-free, says Teton County Pathways and Trails Coordinator Brian Schilling, is mindful, attentive driving. “Whether you’re operating on a multi-ton vehicle, riding a bike, or on your own two feet, it’s important to pay attention to what you’re doing,” Schilling said. “Talking on a cell phone distracts drivers just as much as having a blood-alcohol level of .08 percent, and it’s shockingly common.”
Keep the roads safe this summer. Don’t drive distracted.
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Town of Jackson
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