Motorists urged to be aware as school year begins

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Motorists urged to be aware as school year begins

Post  fshnski on Mon Aug 26, 2013 11:00 am

State Safety Commissioner John J. Barthelmes urged motorists to pay extra attention to their driving with the opening of school this week.

The warning followed an "unexpected upsurge" in school bus collisions last spring, Barthelmes said in a statement released last week. In nearly every case, the collision was the fault of the motorist, not the school bus driver, he said. Many involved rear-end collisions, he said.

"Nobody knows for sure how some motorists are missing large yellow buses with flashing red lights and stop arms, but it is happening," the commissioner said.

"One thing for sure is the large numbers of motorists who take the chance of engrossing themselves in text messaging or a cell phone conversation while their vehicle is in motion," he added.

Distracted driving — whether it be taking your hands off the controls or your eyes of the road — kills more than nine people a day in the United States and injures more than 400,000 people a year, Barthelmes said, citing National Highway Traffic Safety Administration research.

While the most common instances of distracted driving involve cell phone use and texting, contributing actions include eating, disciplining children, programming a GPS device, shaving and applying makeup, he said.

http://www.unionleader.com/article/20130826/NEWS04/130829482

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