Drivers approve of new texting ban - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Drivers approve of new texting ban

The new state law banning texting and driving went into effect Wednesday, July 1. (Photo source: WLOX) The new state law banning texting and driving went into effect Wednesday, July 1. (Photo source: WLOX)
SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) -

Getting caught on your phone while driving can now cost you. The new state law banning texting and driving went into effect Wednesday, July 1. Now, experienced and even new drivers are thinking twice about checking and responding to texts and social media alerts while on the road.

Mississippi Highway Patrol's public affairs spokesman, Cpl. Benjamin Seibert, said the dangers that come from texting and driving aren't anything new, but he's hoping the new law will help save lives.

"Text messaging and driving is like playing Russian roulette. You may be able to do it a thousand times and never cause a car accident, but it could be that one time that gets you killed," Seibert said.

LeKisha Raine, of Gulfport, agrees. She said she's on board with any laws that keep her and her children safe.

"I think it's pretty good. I think it'll cut down on a lot of accidents, and I have kids and I want them to be safe, so I'm cool with it," Raine said.

While some think the new texting law may be time consuming and hard to enforce, Seibert says it's just another way to crack down on careless driving.

"In addition to our texting and driving law, we also have our careless and reckless driving laws. So, if they're operating that vehicle in an unsafe manner, we can still stop them for that and run them for careless driving," Seibert said.

That's good news for Jesse Vincent. His daughter, Gabrielle, received her license the same day the law went into effect. He says he's now more comfortable with her behind the wheel.

"I can tell coming in from behind them if they're texting and driving by the way they're driving, so I think it's good," Vincent said.

"I like it and feel like it's going to keep me safe," Gabrielle said.

Vincent said his only hope is that law enforcement officers will be able to monitor those who aren't quick to obey the new law, but he's confident they will and his daughter will be safe.

"I think she'll be fine. She's been driving for a year now with her permit, and it's been good practice. We're excited about giving her the opportunity to let her go," Vincent said.

Getting caught driving while texting, emailing, tweeting or even using Facebook can leave you with a fine of $25. Starting July of next year, the fine will increase to $100.

Copyright 2015 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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