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