MS bypasses ban on texting and driving - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

MS bypasses ban on texting and driving

LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) -

Did the Mississippi legislature make the right decision not to outlaw texting while driving? This week lawmakers decided not ban the practice just as the U.S. Department of Transportation launched its first campaign against texting and cell phone usage behind the wheel.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2012 alone, more than 3,300 people were killed in distracted driving crashes. A majority of teens and young people admit they have written, sent, and read text messages while driving.

In talking to drivers, most of them had stories about encounters they'd had with people who were more engrossed in their cell phones than the wheel.

"I was out driving and going to the store," said driver C.J. Bowser. "There was a fellow in front of me about to run into oncoming traffic in the opposite lane and he was texting on his telephone."

"I don't think we can trust people to stay off of their cell phone," said driver Willie Shook. "Whether it's texting or talking or their cell phone, they're distracted. I've almost had several accidents where people would pull out in front of me or run into me."

In Mississippi, texting while driving isn't illegal and some drivers say that needs to change.

Holly Rutledge said, "It's become a habit for a lot of people and it's something that's really dangerous."

"This generation coming up, everybody is texting and it's really dangerous," said Anthony Landry.

Shook said, "Teenagers are not going to decide they're not going to talk on their cell phone or text. They're going to text no matter what. It's just too dangerous. Too many accidents and too many lives are at stake."

With lives at stake, some drivers believe there needs to be a penalty.

Charlene Howard said, "Important things like that if you don't get a ticket or get noticed for doing those mistakes, then how can they be fixed? All the time I see people on the phone. If I need to, I just pull over. Pull over. It takes a few seconds then get safely back on the road."

Currently, 43 states ban text messaging for drivers of all ages. Twenty states prohibit all drivers from using hand-held cell phones while driving.

Watch one of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's new ads about the deadly consequences of distracted driving: http://youtu.be/6oeCUM2Alaw

Copyright 2014 WLOX. All rights reserved.

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • Bush's Baked Beans announces voluntary recall

    Bush's Baked Beans announces voluntary recall

    Sunday, July 23 2017 7:14 PM EDT2017-07-23 23:14:18 GMT
    Sunday, July 23 2017 7:14 PM EDT2017-07-23 23:14:18 GMT

    Bush Brothers & Co.Saturday announced a voluntary recall of certain 28-ounce cans of three varieties of its baked beans.  

    More >>

    Bush Brothers & Co.Saturday announced a voluntary recall of certain 28-ounce cans of three varieties of its baked beans.  

    More >>
  • After Craigslist scam, man can't enter his own home

    After Craigslist scam, man can't enter his own home

    Saturday, July 22 2017 8:29 PM EDT2017-07-23 00:29:14 GMT
    Saturday, July 22 2017 8:29 PM EDT2017-07-23 00:29:14 GMT

    The people inside rented the home from a mystery person on Craiglist. As the law stands, because they refuse to leave, Keith Mills now has to go to court to prove he’s the rightful owner.

    More >>

    The people inside rented the home from a mystery person on Craiglist while owner Keith Mills was on vacation.. As the law stands, because the renters refuse to leave, Mills now has to go to court to prove he’s the rightful owner.

    More >>
  • Princes William, Harry remember their final call with Diana

    Princes William, Harry remember their final call with Diana

    Sunday, July 23 2017 3:30 AM EDT2017-07-23 07:30:46 GMT
    Sunday, July 23 2017 9:31 PM EDT2017-07-24 01:31:59 GMT

    Prince William and Prince Harry are paying tribute to their mother, Princess Diana, as the 20th anniversary of her death in a car crash approaches.

    More >>

    Prince William and Prince Harry are paying tribute to their mother, Princess Diana, as the 20th anniversary of her death in a car crash approaches.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly