July is National Cellphone Courtesy Month

Put away the phone is the message

The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) is encouraging motorists, motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians to put away their phones while using the nations roadways during National Cell Phone Courtesy Month in July.

National Cellphone Courtesy Month is an event founded by etiquette expert Jacqueline Whitmore to encourage cell phone users to be more respectful of their surroundings. The AMA believes that respect should extend to drivers and pedestrians, as well. “Cell phones certainly are useful devices for staying in touch with family, friends and business associates and for staying abreast of social media,” said Rob Dingman, AMA president and CEO. “But their use on public roadways increases risk in an already dangerous setting and puts motorcyclists in great peril.”

National cellphone courtesy month
“Motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians pay a disproportionally higher price for motor vehicle operator distraction and inattention,” Dingman said.

According to the National Highway Safety Administration, distracted and inattentive driving have contributed to a significant number of motor vehicle crashes. “Driver inattention is the leading factor in most crashes and near-crashes,” the NHSTA and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute report. “Nearly 80 percent of crashes and 65 percent of near-crashes involved some form of driver inattention within three seconds before the event.Primary causes of driver inattention are distracting activities, such as cell phone use, and drowsiness.”

The AMA supports legislation that makes available to the courts harsher penalties for offenders, such as higher fines, license suspension, points assessed against an operators record, community service, or imprisonment. To view the AMA position statement on distracted and inattentive driving, see AmericanMotorcyclist.com/rights/positionstatements.

2 thoughts on July is National Cellphone Courtesy Month

  1. Kathy,I am a CA resident as well and the hands-free law (phone, text, etc.) has been in effect for many years now. Unfortunately, it’s not enforced as much as it claimed in its inception.I see it all of the time and I think the fines should be steeper, especially after all of the lost revenue from broken rules and no enforcement.When I’m on the bike, I notice that more often especially when it is held to the left side of the head. I know they won’t see me and probably not paying attention to the vehicles around them. I feel your frustration…and that’s just one issue of many that motorcyclists have to endure on any day.

  2. Am I missing something? “Courtesy?” It is law here in the State of California. Using the cell while driving can kill. I understand that any way to get the message out may help a cause, but what more does it take than a death to keep being “respectful” in getting the word out? There should be hard core repercussions for illegal use and, or accidents/deaths in usage. Too many injuries and deaths have been caused by such thoughtless actions.

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