by Lisa Tome
Rising Sun's town officials know that "one text or call could wreck it all."
That's why they are taking a stand against distracted driving.
Commissioner Allen Authenreath was involved in a motor vehicle accident on April 4 on Biggs Highway in the area of Ebenezer Church Road, Rising Sun.
Authenreath said an "inattentive" driver hit the rear of his vehicle in a work zone.
"I hope they (the other driver) learned a lesson of what can happen in a blink of an eye," said Authenreath who thanked Community Fire Company of Rising Sun and Maryland State Police for their work at the scene.
Commissioner Jennifer Scully is the mother of young drivers. She said she is tempted to text to her children "Where are you?" "When you send that message I want to know where you are, but I don't want you to answer," said Scully.
Scully said she is "taking it old school and back to when we didn't have these conveniences (cell phones)."
Mayor Travis Marion read statistics regarding distracted driving. "Distracted driving can kill," said the mayor.
Police chief Chip Peterson explained some of the laws regarding distracted driving. He said that both young and old are guilty of driving while distracted.
"Texting, even at a traffic light, is illegal," said Peterson. He said the police department will have "spotters" looking for distracted drivers. "We are looking to change behavior. It needs to stop. Lives do matter," said the chief.
He said that even though police officers are allowed to use their phones while driving, he may make it mandatory that Rising Sun officers go wireless.
Signs warning against texting and driving have been placed at the entrances to town as a reminder. Anyone who wishes to do so may go to Rising Sun town hall and take the pledge to drive phone-free.
Those who sign the pledge vow to:
• Protect lives by never texting or talking on the phone while driving.
• Be a good passenger and speak out if the driver in my car is distracted.
• Encourage my friends and family to drive phone free.