My first car was a 1973 Lincoln Continental.
It was a 2 ½ ton boat, which happened to be the color of poop and the same age as me. I wanted a red Mustang but knew there was no way I was getting one. From the time I turned twelve, my mother would not only read me newspaper articles about car crashes, but would also cut them out and save them for future reference. She wanted me to appreciate, as well as fear, what could happen to me or others in a car. It was more effective than those horrible Driver’s Ed videos like “Appointment with Disaster” and “Highways of Agony.” She thought that driving such a large vehicle would give me a better chance of surviving an accident. I luckily never had the opportunity to test that theory.
I was also lucky enough to start driving a couple of decades before cell phones were in the hands of every other driver on the road. There are many studies that have concluded that texting while driving is more dangerous than drinking and driving. It is, in fact, the equivalent of having 4 beers before getting behind the wheel. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that Texting causes 25% of all traffic accidents.
46 of the 50 states in America have texting bans. NO state bans cell phone use. Fines for texting and driving vary largely by state, for those who have a ban. Alabama, California and Kentucky will cost you about $20-25. Maine, Oregon and Indiana about $500 for first time offenders. Alaska, however, is taking no chances. It will cost you $10,000 and a year in jail.
Texas only has restrictions for new and bus drivers. I think that is a huge mistake. The fact that a 20 year old young man killed 13 people due to texting and driving there last month supports my notion. Jody Kuchler was a witness to the accident. He said that Jack Dillon Young admitted he had been texting. Kuchler had called police to report him driving erratically before the fatal crash.
I know that there are those who may disagree with me, but if you drive while impaired (and yes, texting impairs you) and you KILL somebody, you should go to jail, go directly to jail, do not pass go and it is going to cost you (more probably your family) way more than $200.
I also think the minimum fine for ANYONE caught texting and driving should be $500, impounding of your vehicle and a year’s license suspension. Yes, DAD, even you!!!