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Proposed Law Targets Teen Drivers Text Messaging

December 7th, 2007 by flanews

Teens who send text messages while driving are the target of a proposed law. If passed, Police would be able to cite drivers 17 and under who use cell phones, laptops or walkie talkies behind the wheel. As Chris Casquejo tells us, some teens believe they can text and drive without risking their own safety.

Hear it here: Proposed Law Targets Teen Drivers Text Messaging

Scottie Donaldson is an admitted text message addict. She sends about 30 messages a day, and about 5 while driving. She has stayed out of any accidents.

Ill do it at a stoplight,” she said. “I dont switch lanes when Im texting. Like, I know what I can and cant do.

The proposed law would work like Floridas seat belt law. Officers could only ticket teen drivers if they stopped them for another offense like speeding. The Florida Highway Patrol says teens, in particular, need to eliminate any distractions.

Put a young driver behind the wheel, and then they start texting or talking on the cell phone, or even talking to friends in the vehicle, we know that the consequences are lethal, said Florida Highway Patrol Major Ernie Duarte.

Teens argue that they need to have their cell phones in the car. Otherwise, they wouldnt have a way to call their parents if they got into an accident.

17-year-old Jeff Naftzinger does not support the new law. But he knows better than to text while driving.

Ive read them while driving,” he said. “But I cant focus on the road and text at the same time. So I tend not to do it.

17 states already have similar law banning cell phones and text messaging among drivers 17 and younger.

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