Texting ban will help teens drive safely

Published 3:36 pm Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Dear Editor,

There are two major events that help define a teenager today. The first is getting a cell phone, and the second is getting a driver’s license. Both bring a new sense of freedom. The problem arises when the two are combined.

It has been reported that 37 percent of young drivers say they text while driving. With the inexperience of young drivers and the distraction of texting while driving, the results can only prove fatal. As young drivers we are not only endangering our own lives, but the lives of others.

On Feb. 19, Representative Jim McClendon introduced a bill to the House addressing this issue. If passed in the Senate, this bill will ban the use of texting while driving.

The Harbor Center for Risk Analysis stated cell phones are a direct cause of over 600,000 accidents each year. In Alabama, this translates to 10,000 wrecks and 200 severe injuries and deaths.

The distraction of texting with teenagers has been compared to the impairment of a drunk driver. In January, the National Safety Council called on all 50 states to ban handheld devices while driving. Shouldn’t we take notice of these findings?

In two weeks, I will be eligible to get my driver’s license. I fully support Representative McClendon’s efforts and truly hope that Alabama will move forward in helping our citizens drive more safely.

As a member of Family Connection’s Youth Empowerment Project, I have educated myself on this issue. Knowledge is power and you can be assured that I will not be texting while driving, and I hope that you will not be either.