Friday, March 31, 2023

April is Distracted Driver Awareness Month

April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month and the Southlake Police Department is reminding everyone, teens and adult drivers alike, to put their phones down while driving.

According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), distracted driving causes more than 100,000 traffic accidents each year in Texas. In 2015, 38% of Texas drivers admitted to talking on their cell phone while driving at least some of the time, according to a survey conducted by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute. The study also found that more than one-fifth (21%) of drivers said they read or sent text messages or emails when behind the wheel.

While using a cell phone when driving is the most common offense, there are many ways in which a driver can be distracted. Distracted driving is any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving including:

  • Posting to social media
  • Checking email
  • Eating
  • Grooming
  • Reading
  • Programming a navigation system
  • Watching a video
  • Adjusting a radio, CD player, or MP3 player

Teenaged drivers are most at risk. Drivers under the age of twenty make up 27% of distracted drivers in fatal crashes across the country. One quarter of teens say they have responded to text messages one or more times while driving.

Police Chief James Brandon says, “Sending or receiving texts takes your eyes off the road for approximately 4.6 seconds. That’s the equivalent of driving blind at 55 miles per hour for the entire length of a football field.”

“If it has been awhile since you’ve talked to your teens about distracted driving, now would be a good time to sit down with them again and remind them of the dangers of distracted driving. We want everyone to arrive at his or her destination safely”, adds Chief Brandon.

Drive now – talk later. The message is simple and it can save lives.

Don’t Drink and Drive!–No Refusal Weekend

drink_drive_go-to-jailThis Memorial Day weekend, the Southlake Police Department will take part in the Tarrant County “No Refusal Weekend” from Friday May 23 to Monday May 26. This means if you are arrested for DWI and refuse to give a specimen of your breath or blood the officer will apply for a Search Warrant to have a specimen of blood taken from you.

Did you know—that someone is hurt or killed in a crash involving alcohol almost every 20 minutes? The Southlake Departments of Public Safety are urging everyone to be safe this Memorial Day Weekend.  Please do not drive or operate a boat if you have had too much alcohol. Individuals arrested for DWI face serious consequences including jail time and fines but more importantly, they risk taking a life or causing serious harm to themselves and others.

In Texas, a person is legally intoxicated and may be arrested and charged with DWI with a .08 BAC (blood or breath alcohol concentration). However, a person is also intoxicated if impaired due to alcohol or other drugs regardless of BAC. Additionally, whether you’re the driver or the passenger, you can be fined up to $500 for having an open alcohol container in a vehicle.

The penalties increase if you are arrested for DWI with a child passenger or cause bodily injury or death to another, and face charges for child endangerment, Intoxication Assault, or Intoxication Manslaughter. These offenses in conjunction with DWI are punishable by significant fines, and lengthy prison sentences.

The fines and punishments increase dramatically following a first offense. Don’t risk getting a DWI conviction.  Play it safe by remembering a few simple tips.

  • Don’t drink and drive.
  • Plan ahead and designate a driver.
  • Call a cab, or a sober friend.
  • Spend the night where you are, if possible.

Southlake Police Chief Stephen Mylett says, “The message is simple. Don’t drink and drive, period! Don’t let one bad decision change your life forever. The consequences can last a lifetime.”

Southlake Police Officers will continue to work to keep the City streets and highways safe this Memorial Day weekend.  For more information