By Eve Meinhardt, ParaglideOctober 8, 2009
FORT BRAGG, N.C. - A decision to answer your cell phone while driving on Fort Bragg can be a costly one and sometimes a deadly one.
Not only does talking on a cell phone distract drivers while behind the wheel, causing them to drift out of their lanes or brake too quickly, it is also a violation of post regulations.
Fort Bragg Traffic Regulation 190-5 prohibits talking on a cell phone while operating a vehicle unless using a hands-free device. If the Military Police pull you over for talking or texting while driving, you will receive a ticket that will put a $75 dent in your pocket, plus a $25 processing fee.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, talking or texting while driving provides a cognitive distraction significant enough to cause the driver to miss potential hazards and make them four times more likely to get in an accident.
The Harvard Center of Risk Analysis states that cell phone use while driving contributes to 6 percent of all crashes which equates to 636,000 crashes, 330,000 injuries and 2,600 deaths a year.
"Talking on a cell phone or texting while driving creates an unneeded distraction," said Officer K. Tatro, public affairs and crime prevention officer, Fort Bragg Provost Marshal's Office. "Each time you decide to have a conversation without a hands-free device while driving, you put yourself, your passengers and other drivers in danger."
If you do receive a call while driving that you feel you have to take, pull over to a safe place, or use a "hands-free" or speakerphone accessory, these are available for most if not all hand-held cell phones. This allows you to keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road, said Tatro.
According to the Fort Bragg Provost Marshal's Office, the Fort Bragg community can expect an immediate increase in cell phone enforcement on post.