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UHP supports White House summit on texting and driving

UHP supports White House summit on texting and driving



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SALT LAKE CITY -- More than a month after a Utah law banning texting while driving took effect, the White House is calling for a summit to address the problem nationwide.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood on Tuesday announced plans to meet with safety officials, law enforcement and others in September to address an increasing number of crashes and fatalities related to distracted driving. Utah Highway Patrol Trooper Cameron Roden says that would be welcome.

"Texting while driving is definitely something that takes people's attention away from the road. It's a distraction, and it has caused accidents. It has caused fatalities, so we're going to support anything that promotes safe driving," Roden said.

He says since a Utah law went into effect on July 1--making it a primary traffic offense for people to text and drive--he's pulled over a couple of motorists. One was on Interstate 15.

"They had a little bit of weaving in and out. They crossed into another lane briefly," Roden said.

He says one driver admitted to him that he was texting, but identifying a texting driver remains problematic. Roden says some drivers make it obvious; others are cited only after an accident.

Roden says there is still a learning curve involved for troopers.

E-mail: mgiauque@ksl.com

Marc Giauque

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