Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes
Keith McCord ReportingWe've heard about the issue for a long time--using cell phones while driving. A lot of cities across the country have tried, with little success, to ban cell-phone use while behind the wheel. Now a Utah lawmaker is going to introduce a bill this coming year, to prohibit new drivers from talking and driving.
Teenagers LOVE to talk on cell phones. Go to any high school and they'll be chatting away. In the parking lot or just walking down the sidewalk, groups of kids will be talking at the same time! Come January, the Utah Legislature is going to take up a proposal that will keep cell phones out of students' hands while they're driving, for perhaps a year after they get their drivers license.
Carol Spackman Moss, (D) Holladay: "And they're already distracted by the radio, by their friends talking, and I thought ‘What a dangerous mix.’"
Teenage drivers are involved in more accidents than any other age group and Representative Carol Spackman Moss' thinking is that the fewer distractions the better.
Carol Spackman Moss, (D) Holladay: “They think, if you ask them, they say they have better reflexes. But they have fewer years experience driving and fewer hours on the road, and there is a difference."
Moss, a long-time school teacher, says she's quizzed her students about the idea and didn't get a lot of positive feedback. But today we found a group of cell-phone equipped 15-year olds who say the proposal makes sense.
Joanna Reed, Age 15: "Well 'cause there are some crazy drivers that talk on their cell phones and they are just not paying attention to anything. And I would rather not get hit by a car, so, it's ok by me."
Colby Dimick, Age 15: "So if you're distracted by a cell phone ringing or talking on one, you could get into an accident. Q: ‘so when you get your license, you'll turn your phone off?’ yeah."
Cell phone laws aimed at young drivers isn't a new trend: Maine and New Jersey already have laws on the books, and eight other states have laws that are pending.