Texting ... the new drunk driving?
Tue, 21 Feb 2012 00:38:25 GMT —
Texting while driving can be just as deadly as drunk driving.
But does the public take the illegal action seriously?
"I guess it really depends on the person," a new Illinois driver Madeline Selby said. "If you're drunk then your driving is definitely going to be off but texting I mean you're not drunk so you have all your sight and everything."
Madeline Selby has had her license for a few months but has owned a cell phone for years. As a new driver she is aware of the texting law, but does she really know how dangerous breaking it could be?
"Texting deadens the drivers reaction just like with alcohol," Quincy police officer Kelly Vandermaiden told KHQA's Kristen Aguirre. "But the consequences are just as devastating."
While Adams County hasn't seen many fatal texting and driving accidents, officials want the public to have the same stance on texting behind the wheel that they do on drunk driving.
"People are against driving drunk but their attitude for texting while driving aren't as strong," Vandermaiden said.
"The best thing to do is understand that the law is aimed at curbing this truly dangerous distraction," Adams County States Attorney Jon Barnard said.
The Quincy Police Department has issued just three citations for texting while driving since January 1, 2012. All could have been avoided they say by taking simple precautions.
"Mute the phone maybe even turn it off that way you're not tempted to pick it up and see who's calling or text messages come in," Vandermaiden said.
The average texting ticket will cost you over one hundred dollars and counts as a moving violation, which can effect your car insurance.