Local News

Fatal accident again highlights problem of distracted driving

Chances are you see someone using their cellphone while driving at least once a day.  A “tougher” law has been in effect for a year and a half, yet police have issued less than 200 tickets.

The woman who crashed into an ambulance, causing the death of two EMTs admits she was distracted at the time.  She used a GPS on her phone to navigate the city.  Police said trying to enforce the law is much more difficult than it would appear.

“People need to learn to live without their cell phones,” said Joel Crawford.

Joel said he has seen his share of close calls.

“A lot of people can hardly drive as it is, let alone, being on their cellphone at the same time,” said Crawford.

Distracted driving was at least one of the factors in that deadly crash Feb. 16, 2013.  IEMS members Timothy McCormick and Cody Medley died, their ambulance was smashed into by a driver who ran a red light.

“The ambulance rolled and slid down about half of a block into the back of a parked car,” said Linda Jackson with IMPD.

Jade Hammer was behind the wheel, she told police she was looking at the GPS on her phone.

Laws, making it illegal to text and drive, passed in 2011.  During the first year of the law, Indiana State Police issued 150 warnings and 171 tickets.  Members of ISP said that number could have easily been larger.

“A lot of times we are going to cite somebody for another violation, but the texting while driving possibly caused that violation,” said Indiana State Police Sergeant Rich Myers.

The penalty for texting while driving is a $500 fine.  It does NOT include hands-free devices or voice-activated texting.  Indiana State Police Sergeant Rich Myers said that makes the law more difficult to enforce.

“There is stuff that is vying for your attention at all times, trying to get you to buy this, or to see this, let alone what you are supposed to be paying attention to,” said Myers.

Myers said sadly it often takes a tragedy, like the one that happened at Senate and St. Clair, to bring about change

VIEW & ADD COMMENTS

12 Comments to “Fatal accident again highlights problem of distracted driving”

    Anonymous said:
    February 18, 2013 at 11:11 PM

    They need to ban the use of cell phones while driving wth was she thinking they need to lock her up the idiot.

    Anonymous said:
    February 18, 2013 at 11:23 PM

    "Chances are you see someone using their cellphone while driving at least once a day…"
    Really… how about every 10 seconds.

    Anonymous said:
    February 18, 2013 at 11:33 PM

    I'm still betting on the fact that she was drunk! Using the GPS on her phone is secondary

      Guest said:
      February 19, 2013 at 10:16 AM

      I think it's pretty obvious that she wasn't drunk. They wouldn't have released her if they didn't know for a fact that she wasn't.

    Anonymous said:
    February 19, 2013 at 12:47 AM

    The police use their in car computer while driving. How is that any different?

      anonymous said:
      February 19, 2013 at 1:11 AM

      I agree with you–the police are always talking to each other on their computers in fact if I am not mistaken, that is what that Officer Bosard was doing when he killed that motorcyclist. Just sayin'!!!

      safety guy said:
      February 19, 2013 at 8:17 AM

      Its different because Police usually are saying "OMG I just saw Jason with his new girl. I hate her LOL!"
      They are usually doing something to keep people safe.

    Mr. BR said:
    February 19, 2013 at 6:43 AM

    I think it's more rare not to see someone on the phone or texting while driving.

    Randy said:
    February 19, 2013 at 7:43 AM

    Distracted?

    No, it was 3:30 in the morning, she was drunk,thats called being a killer

    ClanSmokeJaguar said:
    February 19, 2013 at 8:17 AM

    And this is one of the reasons after decades of motorcycling, I'm giving it up. I have a close call 2-3 a week these days whereas 20 years ago, maybe once every other month.

    Bev said:
    February 19, 2013 at 9:24 AM

    Yes I can believe she may have been disracted but I believe she also had alcohol or something else in her system!

    Cordero said:
    February 28, 2013 at 4:53 PM

    Does anyone know where the ambulance was headed?

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