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PNS Daily Newscast - November 19, 2018. 


More than 1,200 missing in the California wildfires. Also on the Monday rundown: A pair of reports on gun violence in the nation; and concerns that proposed changes to 'Green Card' rules favor the wealthy.

Daily Newscasts

Driving this Holiday Season? Lose the Cell Phone

November 25, 2009

YANKTON, S. D. - The holiday season kicks off this week, and that means the roads will be filled with shoppers and travelers. Drivers today already have more distractions than ever, and it's not just kids in the back seat and the occasional billboard, says the director of the South Dakota Department of Highway Safety, Jim Carpenter.

According to Carpenter, the most troubling new trend is typing text messages while driving - not only an issue for teens, but adults as well. He says people of all ages are chatting and 'texting' on their cell phones rather than giving their full attention to the road in front of them and the cars around them.

"Really, the message is for everybody to pay attention to the task at hand, and that's driving the vehicle, arriving safety at their destination and, in the process, make sure you wear your seatbelt. And, if somebody wants to call you on the phone, just wait to answer it."

Carpenter notes that, while there will be more drivers on the road this holiday season, there will also be more law enforcement officers on patrol in many areas. He suggests appointing a designated driver for those who intend to drink alcohol. And for tired travelers, it's important to pull over and rest or stretch if needed. He also hopes more people will 'buckle up.'

"It is imperative that people, not only during Thanksgiving, but all the time, reach over and fasten that safety belt."

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), "distracted driving" is now the number one cause of car accidents in the United States; and drivers who use cell phones are four times more likely to be in a motor collision than drivers who do not.

Dick Layman, Public News Service - SD