Drivers who talk or text on their phones now have a new name “zombies”. The reason for the moniker is that zombies and distracted drivers have quite a bit in common.
“You’re using about a third less of your brain,” explained Chris Murphy, Director of the Office of Traffic Safety, “It actually gets rerouted when you’re doing the talking or texting.”
April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, which means zombie-drivers should be aware that law enforcement officers will essentially become “zombie-hunters” and target distracted drivers.
While the stepped up enforcement means tickets and fines Senator Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto), who wrote the Distracted Driving Law said it works, “When the public’s aware, the penalties are meaningful, and when the enforcement is significant (we) save lives and reduce the number of crashes.”
He added after one year of the law being in effect there was more than a 20% reduction in collisions on California Highways.
While the law has helped people survive, zombies are still on the road. To keep from turning into one, when you get a call or text Murphy advises, “It’s not worth it and it can wait.”
Throughout the month of April there will be regional crackdowns where officers specifically target distracted drivers. The first is scheduled for April 3.