Editorial - Texting bill a step in the right direction
Published: Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, June 27, 2012 06:06
Beginning July 1, texting while driving in West Virginia will result in a $100 fine.
Texting will become a primary offense, which means offenders can be pulled over by the police and cited for it.
For now talking on a phone while driving is a secondary offense, but it will only be until July 1, 2013, when it will join texting as a primary offense.
When there was first talk of a texting bill it was only to be a secondary offense, which would have been a waste of time for our state legislators and tax payers. Now the bill has been improved, hopefully our roadways will become much safer.
While there are still questions of how the law will be enforced, at least the threat of a citation will deter many would-be texters.
Some are concerned the law will be next to impossible to enforce because it’s difficult for an officer to prove a driver was texting while operating a vehicle. But, the measure is certainly better than ignoring the problem altogether.
Most people agree that texting and using a phone while driving is dangerous. Of course, any distraction is dangerous to drivers on the road.
According to the National Safety Council, 1.6 million crashes a year are caused by drivers talking and texting on a cell phone.
It’s good news to hear the legislation was improved and passed by our legislators, but it shouldn’t take our elected officials to force common sense on drivers.
Anyone on the road should focus his or her attention on the road at all times.
There are times when anyone can be distracted on the road, but there is no reason to text while driving.
Any message that needs to be sent can wait until the driver pulls off the road. It adds to the already present dangers on the road.
We can applaud our legislators for a job well done, but the drivers on the road have much more work to do.
The next time you are on the road, pay attention and make a conscious effort to watch out for other drivers.
If more drivers would be more attentive, far fewer accidents would occur.