Phones & driving don’t mix
Texting while driving has become just as dangerous as drinking and driving – with young people and their cell phone culture being particularly prone to misuse of the devices while driving. But older people are guilty too.
As Americans have become more aware of the dangers of using mobile devices behind the wheel, car and wireless manufacturers have increasingly offered hands-free and speech-recognition technologies as safer alternatives. But they are not foolproof.
Because of the number of accidents related to mobile phone use, there remains a push in some jurisdictions to make all uses of the devices while driving illegal. Some states and locales have enacted laws to ban use of a handheld mobile phone use while driving. In some cases, restrictions are directed only to minors or newly qualified license holders.
Regardless of the law and whether a driver is using a hands-free device or a handheld mobile phone, he or she still needs to exercise good driving judgment. No one should have to explain why texting is outlawed. But even just talking on the phone can become the source of distraction that results in disaster.
The road is a dangerous place. Every bit of concentration by drivers is needed.
Increase prison staff
South Carolina prisons need a lot more correctional officers. About 655, in fact. And those positions need to be filled as quickly as possible by qualified applicants, even if they have to be flown in from Puerto Rico, as state Department of Corrections chief Brian Stirling recently proposed.
At least two inmates have died (last) month in state prisons. And violence — including violence directed at guards and other prison staff — is far too common.
Even in cases when violence doesn’t result from a lack of sufficient staffing, prisoners can face lockdowns, loss of privileges like visitation hours and a shortage of other important rehabilitative services when prisons aren’t operating with enough employees.
And with about 95 percent of South Carolina inmates expected to one day rejoin society, it’s important that prisons provide at least a minimal support system to help people prepare to be productive community members.
(W)ith more than one-in-four prison staff positions currently unfilled in South Carolina, the state is facing a crisis that is endangering both inmates and the people charged with overseeing them. Hundreds of new, qualified employees are necessary, and all options should be on the table for meeting that need.