Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Finally, a crack down

Last weekend police in Jefferson county have cracked down on bad drivers, issuing over 4,000 tickets during the Take Back our Highways campaign. And it's about time.

I have driven all over the U.S. Now I'm not saying I am an expert or an traffic angel, but in my experience, Alabama has some of the worst drivers around. Turn signals are a mystery device, cell phones are up to everyones head as if sucking the drivers brain's, and a general lack of understanding of the common driving rules. The citations ranged from speeding violations to driving under the influence. What number amazed me, however was the 847 tickets for not wearing a seatbelt. When I went to follow up on what constitutes as a seatbelt law here in Alabama (I took my drivers test in Idaho) I found this:

Alabama’s safety belt law requires that all front-seat occupants, regardless
of age, be restrained.
Alabama’s child restraint law requires that children through age 14 must
be restrained when riding in motor vehicles in Alabama. The law applies to
occupants of front and back seats of passenger cars, pickup trucks, vans
(with seating capacity of 10 or fewer), minivans and sport utility vehicles.
Violators will have points assessed against their driver record, in addition to
incurring a fine of $25.
Source: Alabama Drivers Guide, http://www.dps.state.al.us/DriverLicense/manuals/DriverManual.pdf

That is it? Twenty-five bucks? No wonder no one wears seatbelt! According to Car-Accidents.com 63% of people killed in auto accidents are not wearing a seatbelt. I see this kind of stuff all over Birmingham.

Really I am hoping that more people slow down, pay attention, and get off of your cell phone while driving. It's not that important and before there were cell phones you didn't make calls while driving so you can live without it.

Who else can't stand driving in Birmingham? Comment below.