Texting and Driving: A Dangerous Gamble

In 2010 the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project reported that the typical teenager sends and receives about 50 texts per day or 1,500 per month. But with the rapid increase in the number of teens between the ages of 12 and 17 owning cell phones, the dangers of texting behavior increases exponentially. Despite the fact that texting while driving is illegal in many states, including in Georgia, where I live, I’m still seeing teens and adults juggling the difficult tasks of driving, texting and talking on cell phones. It’s difficult to find a driver that isn’t driving distracted. And many of them are teens.

New ban on texting while driving

New laws targeting teens and distracted driving go into effect July 1.  No more texting behind the wheel.  Teens with provisional licenses can’t use a cell phone at all. Governor Perdue signed SB 360, better known as “Caleb’s Law”, Friday, despite reservations about how it’s going to be enforced.  And the law isn’t just for teens.  Police will be on the lookout for any driver reading, writing or sending emails. SB360 is named after a Dahlonega teen who crashed and died while texting and driving last December. WSAV reports teen drivers caught texting or talking on the phone face a $150 fine, which doubles if they have an accident.   Despite reservations about how “Caleb’s Law” will be enforced, Gov. Perdue states in a press release that “We need to do everything possible to focus young drivers on the road ahead.” The Atlanta Journal Constitution says the legislature plans to revisit the texting law next year to clarify parts of it.