Indiana groups lobbying for texting ban
The AAA Hoosier Motor Club wants drivers in Indiana to understand the dangers of texting while driving. That’s why the organization is rallying with the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute, State Farm Insurance, Hendricks County Purdue extension and the Indiana Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) in a public campaign of the DUI of the new millennium.
Since 2008, only drivers under the age of 18 are banned from using their cell phone while driving. The goal with this new campaign is to convince legislators that texting while driving is dangerous for everyone.
“Current legislation is directed toward teens,” said Greg Seiter, public affairs manager for AAA Hoosier Motor Club. “But the dangers of texting while driving are not age specific. Steering control is reduced by 91 percent and reaction time slowed by 35 percent when texting while driving,” he said.
Student representing SADD are traveling the state to plead their case with legislators and the public. They held a rally at the Statehouse’s North Atrium to urge lawmakers to ban driving while texting. They also have access to a simulator to give people the experience of the risks associated with texting while driving.
There are already a few texting bans on the table from the Indiana House and Senate. Indiana Senate Bill 111 is looking to make texting while driving a misdemeanor in Indiana. Indiana House Bill 1057 would ban text messaging while driving in Indiana for all drivers. Both bills were presented during the 2010 Legislative session, but did not get approved. As Mogan Thie from SADD said, let’s hope lawmakers and the population will understand how important this issue is.
“It’s easy to just be able to pick up your cell phone and text, but you could just take your life that day if you don’t think about it.”
Source: WLKY, November 17, 2010; Columbus Local News, November 20, 2010