Cache County attorney speaks on distracted driving, other issues

Cache County Attorney James Swink has waged a campaign against what he calls ‘distracted’ driving, saying that driving while texting or otherwise being distracted have caused too many local crashes, some of them with fatalities. On KVNU’s Crosstalk show Monday, Swink said Utah has one of the toughest texting while driving laws in the country but there are other dangerous distractions including talking on your cell phone. He says most people agree no one should drive with an alcohol level of .08 or higher, yet studies by a University of Utah researcher compare that to a cell-phone user. “He has determined that it is very similar to someone who is driving with a blood alcohol level of .08. It is distracting. And you will notice that as people are driving down the road. You will think, ‘that person has to be on their cell phone’. They are either driving well under the speed limit, or they are distracted coming over the center line or even driving off the road”. Swink encourages those who see people talking on the cell phone while driving to pull off the road and notify authorities. He said there is a law on the books that covers cell phones under the “careless driving” statute. Also during his appearance on Crosstalk, Swink talked about how the Children’s Justice Center provides a place where children who have been physically or sexually abused can be interviewed. The interview is reorded so that the child will not have to face the accused in court. Swink said there now needs to be a low that prohibits those videos from being distributed. “The concern is that those videos are getting into the hands of people who are using them inappropriately to scare off the child from testifying at trial. We’ve seen these videos popping up on YouTube, and that’s disturbing for children who have been victimized once already. Then to have that matter go public is a real concern”. Swink said some states already have laws that prohibit the distribution of the children’s video interviews. The state of Utah will be taking that issue up this year to prohibit the distribution of those videos.

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