Pharos-Tribune

Opinion

January 3, 2014

THEIR VIEW: Texting law ineffective

Indiana legislators passed a law in 2010 aimed at cutting back on the number of motorists texting while driving. It hasn’t worked.

Two years after that law went into effect, the Kokomo Tribune reported in July, Kokomo police officers had written just five citations — three in all of 2012 and two in the first six months of 2013.

The problem, they say, is the law is nearly impossible to enforce.

While the law forbids drivers from typing, transmitting or reading texts and emails while their vehicles are in motion, the law also states officers can’t confiscate phones or other mobile devices to determine whether a person was breaking the law.

That means police would have to subpoena phone records to issue a citation, they say, and the only time they’re likely to do that is in the event of a wreck.

A survey by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that about 2 out of 10 drivers say they’ve sent text messages or emails from the driver’s seat.

Thirty-four percent of 18- to 20-year-olds reported sending text messages while driving in 2011, as did 27 percent of adults.

Part of the problem is many drivers don’t think the practice is dangerous, at least when they do it. Seventy-seven percent of young adults reported that sending text messages had little effect on their driving.

Some drivers in the survey admitted that wasn’t true, as they should. Twenty-three percent of all auto accidents in 2011 involved a cellphone.

Advocacy groups have launched campaigns trying to raise awareness of the danger, pointing out that at highway speeds a vehicle can travel the length of a football field in only an instant.

What will really get drivers’ attention, though, is the threat of a fine.

The Associated Press reported law enforcement agencies in New York and Connecticut had brought about significant reductions in distracted driving simply by handing out more tickets.

That’s what needs to happen in Indiana. Lawmakers have acknowledged the danger by making texting while driving illegal. Now, in this year’s session, they need to add provisions that will make the ban enforceable.

—The Kokomo Tribune

THE ISSUE An Indiana law passed in 2010 aims to keep motorists from texting and driving. THEIR VIEW It hasn't worked because the law is unenforceable.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • FREY: An ode to service days gone by There were many times in the past year that I walked by the small glass corner curio cabinet.I often glanced at the photographs from the corners of my eyes as I made my way past the nurse’s station and out the pass-coded locked doors.It is one of man

    August 22, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Looking out for youth and e-cigarettes Technology, it seems, finds solutions for just about everything. So it should surprise no one that the tobacco industry, under siege for years for marketing and selling unhealthy products, found a way around the anti-smoking fervor through a smoke-le

    August 22, 2014

  • WOLFSIE: A matter of bad habits Mary Ellen and I have been happy together for so long that we sometimes forget how much we annoy each other, so on the trip back home from our recent vacation, it was time catch up on our bad habits.For example, I told Mary Ellen that she is a relent

    August 22, 2014

  • WILLIAMS: Life is not all choices There is a post on Facebook that says, “Everything you do is based on the choices you make. It’s not your parents, your past relationships, your job, the economy, the weather, an argument or your age that is to blame. You and only you are responsible

    August 21, 2014

  • PUBLIC FORUM: Reining in unlimited farm subsidies Reining in unlimitedfarm subsidiesIn January, President Obama declared that despite Congressional logjams, “America does not stand still — and neither will I. So wherever and whenever I can take steps without legislation to expand opportunity for Ame

    August 21, 2014

  • HAMILTON: Why government openness matters One of the fundamental lessons of the 9/11 tragedy was that our government carried a share of blame for the failure to stop the attacks. Not because it was asleep at the switch or ignorant of the dangers that Al Qaeda posed, but because the agencies

    August 21, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Continue work of modernizing courts Indiana’s new chief justice, Loretta Rush, has a lot on her plate. She not only has to preside over the Indiana Supreme Court, but also to modernize the state’s other courts as well.Indiana is well on its way toward bringing courts into the 21st cent

    August 21, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Mo-ped law long overdue We’ve all seen them on the streets, and their popularity is only growing. Mo-peds have coasted in a legal grey area for years in Indiana.A lack of registration, testing and licensure allowed those without other means of transport to join other vehicl

    August 20, 2014

  • KITCHELL: Quality of life and leaders both matter It was with some astonishment and much disappointment I read in the Aug. 5 edition of the Pharos-Tribune that one of our local city councilmen was quoted as saying that previous efforts in Logansport to use Tax Increment Financing money for quality o

    August 20, 2014

  • RAMPELL: Here comes Entrepreneur Barbie WASHINGTON — Lego’s groundbreaking female-scientists set sold out almost immediately after it was released this month. But never fear, fans of feminist toys: A new Barbie doll, now in stock, is also shattering the plastic ceiling.Yes, that swan-necke

    August 20, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Does Indiana need a statewide water management plan and an administrator to implement it?

Yes
No
Unsure
     View Results
Featured Ads
AP Video
Furry Roommates: Dorms Allowing Cats and Dogs Chase Rice Defends Bro-Country 'Jersey Shore Massacre' Pokes Fun at MTV Series Raw: Wash. Mudslides Close Roads, Trap Motorists DC's Godfather of Go-Go Honored Ukraine Calls Russian Convoy a 'direct Invasion' Girl Meets Her 'one in the World' Match Coal Gas Boom in China Holds Climate Risks Japan Landslide Rescuers Struggle in Heavy Rain Raw: Severe Floods, Fire Wrecks Indiana Homes Endangered Red Wolves Face Uncertain Future Raw: Russian Aid Convoy Arrives in Ukraine Okla. Policeman Accused of Sex Assaults on Duty Dominican Republic Bans Miley Cyrus Concert Raw: Israeli Air Strike in Gaza Raw: Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in Malaysia Attorney: Utah Eatery Had Other Chemical Burn
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.