Texting and driving? 3 strikes and you’re out!

By: Jude Carter

Have you heard about the proposed “3 strikes” law in NJ? Sen. Richard Codey (D-Essex, NJ)
For drivers caught texting or talking on their cell phones, there would be a $110 fine for the first offense, $250 for the second and $500 and a license suspension for the third offense.

Why 3 strikes? Doesn’t that send the message that it’s OK unless you get caught? And if you do, it’s only a couple of bucks….a small price to pay for our addiction to instant communication.

I don’t get it. If you ask me, strikes one, two and three are equally deadly in their potential to harm or kill someone. If we’re really serious about this, how come we’re not setting the goal at zero tolerance?

Take safety in the workplace as an example. Many companies promote a “target zero” for injuries in the workplace. While that may be nearly impossible to sustain, it definitely can be attained, especially when the company is committed to building a culture of safety awareness. That means getting the employees to believe in the goal by giving it a lot of visibility, reinforcing safe behavior and celebrating successes.

Arch Chemical in Arlington, VA has a “Goal is Zero’ program. According to their corporate EH&S director, Dan Bennewitz, “The message is that there is no acceptable level of hurting our people, our employees.”

Now that’s a clear message…unlike the 3-strikes-approach which makes it sound like it’s “sort of acceptable” behavior.

What do you think?

Sharon Toelle
July 15, 2010

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