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"Nobody is going to listen," says teen

Cell phones are such a part of everyday life for many Americans that most no longer think about pulling a mobile phone out to send a text or message; it's just natural. Unfortunately, the tendency to just send text or reply to them is dangerous when driving.

Many states and cities are working on bans that would prohibit texting while driving and some are calling for a nationwide ban on the practice. A study released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that 1-in-4 teen drivers admit to texting while driving. Analysts believe the number is much higher than what is being reported.

Reuters reports that even if a nationwide ban on texting while driving were introduce, most teen drivers would not stop texting. Texting is so ingrained into the life of teens that they simply will do it any way according to one teen interviewed by Reuters named Karen Cordova. She said, "Nobody is going to listen."

One of the problems is that for police to write citations for texting while driving they have to catch the driver in the act. Catching people talking on the cell phone and driving is easy to do, but if the driver is texting with the device in their lap things are much more difficult.

The California Highway Patrol has issued 163,000 citations to drivers for talking while driving on the phone, but issued only 1,400 citations for texting and driving.

Fran Clader, CHP spokesman said, "The handheld cell phone is relatively easy for us to spot, we can see when somebody has their phone up to their ear. But with the texting it's a little bit more of a challenge to catch them in the act, because we have to see it and if they are holding it down in their lap it's going to be harder for us to see."

One teen interviewed by Reuters said he only stopped texting while driving after his cousin was in a serious accident while texting.

Steven Bloch from the Automobile Club said, "What I would say is that texting and cell phone devices have become such a component of life for teens and for young people that it's hard for them to differentiate between doing something normal and doing something wrong."

Texting and driving is very much like other risky behavior that many engage in when young. Young people tend to feel like nothing can happen to them, that it will always be there other people who have accidents or get caught. Cordova said, "By the time they pull you over, the chances are you are going to be done with your text anyway so they can't exactly prove that you were texting."

A graphic commercial aired in the UK to help stop texting and driving showed teens in an accident caused by texting and driving.

President Obama recently signed an executive order banning federal employees from texting while driving.

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RE: Appropriate times to turn off a cell phone
By amanojaku on 12/11/2009 11:02:15 AM , Rating: 5
Personally, I see it as a freedom of speech violation because the state is dictating how we can communicate.
Freedom of speech is not about HOW you communicate, it is about your right to say what you feel without consequences. And speech is not truly free, either. Say "bomb" in an airport.
I've been driving with a cell phone since 1995 without any accidents.
Lucky you. There are numerous studies showing a texting driver to be just as unsafe, or worse, than a drunk driver.

Seriously, if it's that important pull over.

RE: Appropriate times to turn off a cell phone
By amanojaku on 12/11/2009 11:08:37 AM , Rating: 2
RE: Appropriate times to turn off a cell phone
By Wightout on 12/11/2009 2:46:20 PM , Rating: 2
So is talking to other people in the vehicle. So is messing with the radio. So is using a GPS unit. Its all about risk management. Driving is dangerous. You have a lot of mass moving at high speeds. Doing anything but watch the road and drive could be considered irresponsible and dangerous. But that doesn't stop anyone from doing other things while driving. Driving is boring alone. You step on a pedal and turn a wheel... o0o0o

We already have laws about driving recklessly why do we need another law for specifically txting? or cell phones? Is there one out there for reading behind the wheel yet? or is that still under the category of un"common" sense? Driving recklessly regardless of why/how you are doing it is driving recklessly.

By callmeroy on 12/14/2009 11:06:02 AM , Rating: 3
I clearly see the argument you are making and in some cases I agree with you -- ie. the radio, GPS, talking to another person, etc...

But c'mon you are making a huge leap to convince me that texting or emailing is at the same level of distraction as those three things I mentioned above....

Use some common sense -- texting and emailing is just stupid and by far among the worse things you could do while driving -- aside from being flat out drink , having some "fun" with your girl (you guys have to know what I mean on this one) or going "hey let's see how I drive with my eyes closed"....

By callmeroy on 12/14/2009 11:01:11 AM , Rating: 3
Excellent points to the previous poster, I just wanted to the part where he said hoping a cop would pull him over because how you are "allowed" to use your phone for medical emergencies.....

A) That only gets you off the hook for the FINE of talking on the phone while driving, if you cause an accident from talking on the phone -- and its proven that your distraction was from talking on the phone YOU ARE STILL LIABLE and and AT FAULT for the accident -- regardless WHY you were talking on the phone....

B) Seriously...unless you are rushing straight to the hospital or had something happen to you WHILE already driving -- why the hell are you picking to call in a "medical emergency" while you are in the car to begin with? I mean if its that bad -- is it safe for you to drive to begin with, don't you want to call 911, get someone else to drive you, contact a family member of what's going on, etc.... Talking about the results of a health checkup is NOT a medical emergency.

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