Some just don’t get it

Some people apparently just don’t get it – using your cellphone while driving is dangerous.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, nationwide more than nine people die every day and 1,060 are hurt in car wrecks caused by distracted drivers. In a 2011 survey, the CDC found that 69 percent of U.S. respondents admitted to talking on their cells or texting while driving.

How bad is the problem in Maui County? Well, according to a story in Monday’s Maui News, county police issued 1,118 tickets in April alone to drivers who were using their cellphones while behind the wheel.

While it is legal in Maui County to use “hands-free” cellphones while driving, police reminded the public in the story it is not OK to use the hand-held portion of the device to dial a number. That will lead to a citation.

Frankly, we do not understand the addiction so many folks have to their cellphones. The need to be in constant contact is new, only a decade or so old. And it has proved to be a deadly addiction – Monday’s story said distracted drivers were responsible for 3,331 deaths on the nation’s highways in 2011. Some 387,000 people were injured that year in distracted driver crashes.

A special note to those who think it is all right to text while driving: The New York Times reported that tests conducted by the magazine Car & Driver showed that reaction times by texters were slower than those of drivers legally drunk.

Please remember, there are two very good reasons our county has laws against distracted driving:

1. To keep you from killing or maiming yourself.

2. To keep you from killing or maiming other motorists.

* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.