PSP Philipsburg to Crack Down on Distracted Drivers

PHILIPSBURG – The year 2006 was a particularly poor year on the Philipsburg Borough streets and highways.

That report comes from the state police barracks at Philipsburg, where Sgt. Charles Strobert said none of the crashes were accidents and most were avoidable.

Strobert pointed out that an accident is an unexpected happening causing loss or injury due to no fault or misconduct on the vault of the person. He said vehicle “accidents” do not commonly occur. Vehicle crashes, on the other hand, are almost always the result of someone’s fault or misconduct, Strobert said.

Distracted driving is the most common action that results in a crash, he said. Distracted driving is a factor in 25 to 30 percent of all traffic crashes.

He pointed out that drivers make more than 200 decisions during every mile traveled.

So, how do drivers know when they are driving distracted? Answer these questions:

— Has a passenger in your car screamed or gasped because of something you did or did not do?
— Did you run a stop sign unintentionally?
— Have you slammed on your brakes because you didn’t see the car stop in front of you?
— Do you remember driving from one place to another?

A national survey cited by the state police at Philipsburg 96 percent of drivers talk to passengers while driving; 89 percent adjust vehicle climate or radio controls; another 74 percent eat a meal or snack. Other distractions include talking on a cell phone, tending to children, reading a map or other material, grooming and preparing for work.

Because of this, the state police at Philipsburg have announced that in the coming weeks and months, the barracks will be emphasizing identifying these types of drivers on the borough’s streets with enhanced visibility and enforcement.

Police plan to use citations and written warnings to make drivers aware of their behaviors.

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