In Oklahoma, a Republican-controlled House Committee put a stop on a bill that was going to ban texting while driving. They were concerned that it would be hard to enforce, and that it would jeopardized individual’s personal freedoms. The bill was going to make it illegal to compose, send or read a text message while driving. The fines could equal up to $500. A member of the Calendar Committee, who opposed the bill, said, “I’ll be the first to say it’s dangerous and foolish to text while driving. But, where do you stop? Can I not eat my cheeseburger in my car?”
Texting and driving law in Kentucky
In Kentucky, we have laws that prohibit texting and driving. Drivers over the age of 18 are allowed to talk on the phone, aside from bus drivers. However, all Kentucky drivers are prohibited from texting and driving. The law states:
- No person may write, send or read a text-based communication (including text messages, instant messages and e-mails) while operating a motor vehicle that is in motion.
- No person under the age of 18 may operate a motor vehicle while using a personal communication device (including talking, texting or emailing on cell phones, smart phones or other PDAs) except when it is necessary to summon medical help or law enforcement in an emergency situation.
For the first offense of text messaging while driving, you are fined $25 plus court costs. The second offense is $50, plus court costs. The cell phone and text messaging laws are considered primary laws in Kentucky. This means that a cop can pull you over for the offense without having to witness any other violation.
My thoughts on these questions
I believe that distracted driving is an epidemic in Kentucky. Distracted drivers are the primary cause of serious car accidents. It used to be that when you saw a driver weave in the road that you thought they were drunk. Not anymore. Now, I assume they are looking at their phone and sending a text. We need to stop this now before there are more fatal car accidents. To do this, we need to have stricter laws that can be enforced. This would take the form of a total ban on the use of phones in the car. Do you think this goes too far?