It's being called a national epidemic. No it is not some strain of disease that is sweeping across America. It is the use of cell phones and texting while driving.
A study found that 58% of high school seniors said they had texted or e-mailed while driving during the previous month. Distracted driving deaths are most common in teens, making up 16% of fatal accidents.
Thirty-eight states have passed laws regarding the use of cell phones and texting. Unfortunately Mississippi is not one of them. Several bills have been presented and failed during the past couple of legislative sessions. Only drivers with a learner's permit or a school bus driver are prohibited from texting while driving in our state.
While the report dealt with teenagers, driving while using a cell phone is also an issue with adults. Next legislative session we urge our state lawmakers to try again and outlaw texting while driving. In addition they should also take it one step further and make it illegal to talk on cell phones and drive, unless you are doing it hands free.
There is only one way to stop this epidemic, and that is to put away our phones and other gadgets while driving.
That's our opinion, we would like to hear yours. Email your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org, or post your comments below.
WLOX-TV General Manager
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