Tomorrow, HB 9, No Texting While Driving, takes effect. That’s right; get your texting done today because starting tomorrow if you are caught texting behind the wheel you can be fined up to $100. Gov. Purdue signed the Act in June making it unlawful to use a cell phone for email or text messaging while driving but the law is not applied when the car is in park.
Washington was the first state to ban “driving while texting” in 2007 and since then, more than one dozen states have followed their example. Supporters of the new law argue that banning texting will keep more drivers safe behind the wheel, especially distracted teenagers. However, could the same result—safer drivers—be produced by educating drivers about the dangers of texting instead of dictating personal decisions?
An educated driver knows that texting while driving poses a danger to him, passengers and nearby drivers. The educated driver, who chooses to text, recognizes the danger and is ignoring the consequences. But the driver who is forced to abide by a law that he/she may not agree with, does not actually learn that driving while texting is dangerous. In effect, does banning something actually solve the problem or just make matters worse by overburdening police and “daring” drivers to break the law? Either way, don’t get caught texting behind the wheel after December 1st.