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EDITORIAL: This epidemic has an easy cure

Some may call this progress. We call it a recipe for disaster.

Besides, have we not reached the tipping point? Are we already not assailed with information and demands of our attentions from every corner? We should welcome the car’s cabin as a cocoon to escape the din. It might be the only place left it’s acceptable to not be instantly available – let’s keep it that way.

But the fact our world is unlikely to become any less connected is what makes public education efforts like Murphy’s billboard design so important.

Consider the seatbelt. Seatbelt use (again, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration provides the numbers) was just below 60 percent nationwide in 1994. In the years since, it has climbed to a plateau in the mid-80 percent range (the rate here in New York is about 90 percent). And that use is way up from the ‘80s, when at times less than a quarter of the populace admitted to wearing a belt.

The point is the benefit of wearing a seatbelt has been normalized and instilled into the societal mesh. While there is a correlation between seatbelt laws and seatbelt use, the effect of aggressive public education cannot be ignored, either. With seatbelts being an issue that affects the individual and distracted driving being a matter affecting all those who travel on the road, there should be no limit placed on how we fight the problem.

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