Is The Texting While Driving Ban Necessary?

In the two years since the texting while driving ban went into effect, police have issued only 200 citations.

Photo: Will Merydith (Flickr)

While a cell ban has reduced texting while driving in teens, it may not effect adults.

It’s been nearly two years since the texting while driving law went into effect, and Indiana police have ticketed fewer than 400 people statewide. This has some wondering if the law is necessary.  However Sergeant Richard Meyers says that the numbers can be misleading.

“A texting process can cause other traffic violations and the officer would take enforcement action on those other violations instead of texting while driving, but the texting while driving is what’s causing those other violations,” said Meyers. “If the person is texting then possibly they’re going left of center, making unsafe lane movements, following too closely, those types of infractions, and the officer would take enforcement actions on those, but actually it’s the texting while driving that has caused those.”

The law specifically bans texting and sending emails while driving. When trying to enforce the texting while driving law, officers have a hard time proving whether a driver was texting or doing something else such as dialing a phone number.

“The person would have to admit that they were texting while driving or emailing while driving to enforce that infraction,” said Meyers.

Despite the ban being almost impossible to enforce, advocates for safe driving still believe it is necessary. Greg Seiter, Public Affairs Manager for Hoosier Motor Club, says the law might still help make the roadways safer.

“Just the very fact that the law exists is certainly going to discourage some people from doing it. We know that we can’t stop some people from doing it. We’re making progress, we’re making headway, and our goal ultimately is to convince everyone, and to let everyone know that it is a very dangerous practice and to do everything we can to help prevent future accidents.”

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