Friday, May 3, 2013

No text message is worth dying for

By: Leah Johnson
   Cell phones are increasing danger while driving. West Virginia passed a law making it illegal to use cell phones while driving. Penalties got harder over the past year. West Virginia will enforce the second part of the law July 2013. This is banning talking on the phone while driving without a hands-free device.
   At this time, talking on the phone while driving is a secondary offence. Secondary offence means an officer can only issue a ticket if a driver has been pulled over for another violation, such as not wearing a seatbelt. The primary offence isn’t enacted until July 1, 2013.The primary law means an officer can ticket the driver for the offense without any other violations like speeding. The ban on texting for all drivers was effective July 1, 2012. If you are caught, you will get a ticket.
   The West Virginia cell phone law is important because you can die from texting, talking on the phone, or other distracted driving. More than 100,000 times each year an automobile crashes and people are injured or they die. According to AT&T, if you text and drive, you’re 23 times more likely to cause a car crash. The National Safety Council announced April 25, that it estimates at least 28 percent of all traffic crashes and more than 1.6 million crashes each year involve drivers using cell phones and texting.
   “No one should have their cell phones out. I see people eating food, putting make-up on, or even reading the newspaper while driving,” PRO Clyde Armstead said.
   Don’t answer a text or phone call if it’s worth losing your life. Possible solutions are hands-free Bluetooth units like those at phone stores or Wal-Mart. AT&T employees say to take the no-texting-and-driving pledge. All the workers there take the pledge to help. Some cars now have the Bluetooth system in the cars. It connects it and you can call and talk to someone through the car. If you take the pledge, then don’t text. Pull over to answer your phone!
   “Our goal is to save lives,” Randall Stephenson said. “I hear from far too many people whose lives have been forever changed by a texting-while-driving accident, and together, we want to spread the word about how deadly a single text can be.


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