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House Approves Texting Ban Bill

Now that it has passed in the House, the state Senate will consider a bill that outlaws texting while driving.

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Photo: Courtesy: Flickr, Alex Ragone

A bill that's on its way to the state Senate would place tougher restrictions on texting while driving.

A bill outlawing texting while driving is on its way to the state Senate after receiving broad support from the Indiana House.  As one of 85 supporters of the bill, State Representative Ed Soliday asked for support from the Senate on a bill he equates to outlawing drunk driving…

“Thirty states have already set a standard and said texting is not eating a hamburger while driving, it is equal to .12 alcohol level,” Soliday said.

Soliday cited figures collected at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in supporting Bedford Rep Eric Koch’s bill.  But Vincennes Democrat Kreg Battles argues that the $500 ticket which can be assessed for texting will not be enough to make the roads safer.

“The truth is if infractions – if tickets, which is basically what this is – stopped illegal activity, we wouldn’t have any speeders on the road, we wouldn’t be rolling stop signs.  But the truth is we speed,” he said.

In pushing the bill, Koch cited a poll conducted by AAA which shows that as many as 97% of those polled are in favor of making texting and driving illegal.  Koch was explicit, however, that the bill is not meant as a precursor to making cell phone use behind the wheel illegal, pointing out that using hands-free devices would still be allowed if the bill becomes law.

Stan Jastrzebski

WFIU/WTIU News Senior Editor Stan Jastrzebski spent time as a reporter with WGN Radio in Chicago and as an editor at Network Indiana, an Indianapolis news service. Stan is the winner of awards from the Associated Press, the RTDNA, the Indiana Broadcasters Association and the Society of Professional Journalists. He hosts WFIU's Ask the Mayor and anchors WTIU's InFocus.

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