Coming Soon, Texting your Way to a Fine
July 24, 2007
Quite a few states have jumped on the bandwagon about banning driving while talking on the cell phone. However, the growing trend of texting while driving has caused lawmakers, especially in New York to go back to the drawing board to include texting in that ban. And after the recent fatal accident where five teens were killed, with texting as a likely culprit, the heat is really on to get the new ruling passed.
The question remains, “Will a ban on texting really help prevent accidents?” No one really knows for sure and as a result, the proposed law change is getting some mixed reviews. Some people feel that the wireless industry is not doing enough to advertise the dangers of cell phone use while driving. However, others feel that it all boils down to practicing basic defensive driving skills.
People hear that talking on the cell phone and texting has caused accidents and killed people, yet they do not hinder their own actions. Why is that? It’s just like smoking. You know that it is hazardous to your health, yet you do it anyway. The same principle applies with cell phones. Are our lives so busy and competitive that we cannot miss a single moment with our cell phones? How did we ever get along twenty or thirty years ago?
Another part of the problem is how to keep the teenagers from texting while driving. Many of them admit to doing it and know it is dangerous and still do it anyway. At some point, we have to accept responsibility for ourselves. In the case of teenagers who are still feeling their way around the whole driving thing, the parents are going to have to be the guiding force in appropriate driving behavior in teens. Of course, that means that they will have to clean up their own acts so that they can lead by example.
It is because people know better yet do it anyway that is precipitating this texting inclusion in the existing cell phone law. Sometimes, we have to help those who refuse to help themselves. And if it takes imposing fines to get the point across, so be it. The problem is that no one truly knows how much of an impact this law will make on saving lives. We’ll just have to wait and see.