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Tennessee To Ban Texting While Driving


Americans are adept at adopting new technology, and texting (sending a text message via a cell phone) is one of the new tools that has been easily learned and utilized among a population that seems driven to constant communication -- and in many cases, driven to distraction.

Take the rise in incidents in which someone writing or reading a text message while driving ends up causing a bad wreck. Several states have enacted or are considering laws to ban texting while driving.Add Tennessee to the list of places where fumbling with a digital device while driving may soon be illegal, following a trend that is picking up speed around the country.

New Jersey and Washington State already ban the activity and the proposed Tennessee law would slap offenders with a $50 fine plus a $10 court cost. The Tennessee state senate transportation committee has already had a hearing on the bill, introduced by Republican state senator Jim Tracy. The state House has not yet scheduled hearings as the Senate won't be voting for at least another two weeks.

Entry #1,303


emilygComment by emilyg - February 21, 2008, 11:02 pm
All states need to follow.
justxploringComment by justxploring - February 22, 2008, 4:26 am
I agree with Emily. Actually, talking on cell phones isn't too safe either. People need to pay attention when they drive.
Comment by LOTTOMIKE - February 22, 2008, 5:08 am
i agree.
Rick GComment by Rick G - February 22, 2008, 7:45 am
Count me in too. It's odd that the cops will pull over a drunk driver for driving erratically but texters and cell yappers drive just as erratically and get a free ride.
Comment by LOTTOMIKE - February 22, 2008, 9:15 am
the real scary thing is i saw a guy in an 18 wheeler messing around with his phone doing this the other day.i kept wanting to get his license number and call it in to the law.people need to watch the road.i do think its mainly younger people in the teens and twenties mainly doing the text thing though.
spy153Comment by spy153 - February 22, 2008, 10:41 am
I think they should should slap them with a stiffer fine than that. And maybe make them watch those awful driving school movies where everyone wrecks so they can see what they may be causing. Itis too dangerous an act to be fiddling with a cell phone while trying to drive... especially if you are texting. I have noticed most cops in my area will pull over to make their cell phone calls to the station or wherever. I have to admit, I am proud of them for setting a good example.
TenajComment by Tenaj - February 22, 2008, 12:21 pm
I agree 2. Both talking on the phone and texting should be against the law.
ThatScaryChickComment by ThatScaryChick - February 22, 2008, 12:53 pm
I agree that all states should follow this. My 15 year old sister used to text on the phone while she was driving and my mom and I had to put a stop to it. I am hoping she doesn't do it while we aren't in the car with her, but sometimes teenagers think they know best.
Comment by jim695 - February 22, 2008, 1:42 pm
I carried a cell phone for a while two years ago. Being the conscientious driver I am, I always pulled over to answer my phone or to make a call. This became a problem after a while because I became annoyed with my friends when they'd call and say, "Hey, Dude; what's up?"
   My standard answer was, "How the hell do I know? You called ME." It turns out that mine was the first number that came to their minds any time they happened to be bored. Maybe I should found this flattering but, in truth, it only caused me to conclude that I need to get some new friends who have something going on in their lives.
   One day, after I had pulled off the road to answer three or four "What's Up" calls, I decided that enough was enough. I wasn't having a very good day anyway, and those stupid phone calls only added to the level of frustration and anger I was feeling that day. The legal speed limit on most of our back roads is 45 mph, but I'd bet everything in my pockets that I was doing a solid fifty. Looking back, I'm thankful there were no cops around, as I probably would have gone to jail, being that far over the legal limit.
   So there I was, careening down the road at the break-neck speed of fifty miles per hour when I heard, "Incoming message from the Big Giant Head!" Without stopping or even slowing down, I dug the offending instrument out of my pocket and chucked it out the window. I paid for that phone for fourteen months after I had thrown it away, but it was worth it; I was finally liberated.
   Now, when my friends get bored, they call me and talk to my answering machine. It gets invitations to parties, class reunions and other social functions but, so far, the machine hasn't accepted any of them.
justxploringComment by justxploring - February 22, 2008, 3:09 pm
Yikes, Jim. That was an extreme move, but I'm happy you feel good about it. :-)   
Many people use bluetooth and don't need to take their eyes off the road, but I still think it interferes with their concentration. I was talking to someone who wanted to take down my number and other information. I said "I'll wait until you stop later" and his answer was "I've gotten really good at driving with my knees."   I don't think this is going to stop, since it's very hard for a cop to know if someone is using an earpiece.   I've been in store restrooms and heard people chatting while they're on the toilet. There's not privacy any more. Of course we've all seen people walking around taking pics of cereal at the supermarket, as if food isn't already overpriced. "Honey, is this the one you want?" What a crazy world!
konaneComment by konane - February 22, 2008, 11:33 pm
Jim that was hilarious! Agree all states should follow suit with no texting while driving. However local news has shown some reports of people putting on makeup, reading the paper, etc., while driving.

Talking on a cell while driving is distracting even with hands free so make every effort to avoid it.

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