‘Teens would ignore texting-while-driving laws’

With texting up 10-fold over the past three years and as momentum for a nationwide law against texting while driving builds, there are indicators that the driver demographic that texts the most would benefit the least. “Already 19 states and the District of Columbia ban texting by all drivers, while 9 others prohibit it by young drivers,” Reuters reports, but “at least one major study has found that, with mobile devices now central to their lives, young people often ignore laws against using cell phones or texting in the car.” Police say such a law would be tough to enforce for the mere fact that they can’t see the phones when drivers are texting. “The California Highway Patrol has handed out nearly 163,000 tickets to drivers talking on hand-held phones since mid-2008” partly because the phone is at the ear and can be seen through the window. When texting, drivers’ phones are in their laps, out of sight. Reuters talked to four teens in the Phoenix area, where there has a ban on texting while driving since 2007. Three of them “admitted texting while driving and a fourth said he had stopped only after his cousin caused a serious traffic accident while sending a message.” Parents, at least be sure you never text your teens while driving; I recently heard an interview in which a teenager said that even when she texts her mom to stop texting her while driving because it’s unsafe, her mom won’t stop!

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