Teenagers Should Be Banned from Texting while Driving

Certainly texting while driving is extremely dangerous at any age but teenagers seem most prone to cause crashes because of this practice. That is why, a coalition composed of Mississippi state lawmakers, Cellular South and the Mississippi Department of Public Safety is struggling to win passage of a legislation that would ban cell texting while driving by 15- and 16-year-old teenagers.

"This legislation is a good first step," explained State Senate Pro Tempore Billy Hewes, the leader of the coalition. "It is our role as leaders to step in where there is an absence of policy. This language protects motorists while at the same time recognizing the benefits of cellular innovation. We, as parents, enjoy a greater level of comfort knowing our children can call if they have a flat, an accident or any other emergency. At the same time, good defensive driving requires the full attention of the driver."

If the bill is adopted, drivers who text while at wheel risk a fine up to $500 and those who cause crashes because of this practice may be fined up to $1,000. As a matter of fact the idea of banning teenagers from texting while driving is not new as nine states already adopted this legislation and another seven states have a text messaging ban for drivers of all ages.

"We agree with Senator Hewes, law enforcement, the National Safety Council and other highly-regarded safety organizations on several key issues, including a ban on text messaging while driving for all motorists and restrictions on cellular phone use by teens or inexperienced drivers," said errell Knight, director of government accounts for the Mississippi-based wireless communications provider.

The alarming fact is that Mississippi state is the leader in teenage crashes with a rate of 35 deaths per 100,000 population and it doesn't have a law that would prohibit teenagers from texting while driving. However, if this bill is approved, the Mississippi Department of Public Safety will make efforts to turn this prohibition into primary law.
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