Conservatively Speaking

State Senator Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) represents parts of four counties: Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, and Walworth. Her Senate District 28 includes New Berlin, Franklin, Greendale, Hales Corners, Muskego, Waterford, Big Bend, the town of Vernon and parts of Greenfield, East Troy, and Mukwonago. Senator Lazich has been in the Legislature for more than a decade. She considers herself a tireless crusader for lower taxes, reduced spending and smaller government.

Bans on texting while driving are ignored


On July 3, 2008 I posed this question in a column:

Do cell phone bans really work?

Support for a ban in North Carolina on the use of cell phones by drivers under the age of 18 was overwhelming. Even three out of four teenagers liked the idea.

The result of the ban? Cell phone use among young drivers increased. 

During October of this year, the state Senate approved a ban on texting while driving that I voted against. I blogged last month that a recent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety report found many drivers still use their hand-held phones, even after they are banned, and other drivers switch to hands-free phones.  The crash risk is about the same, regardless of phone type. It is unknown whether bans reduce crashes, and police enforceability is a problem because it is difficult to determine whether a driver is sending a text message or talking on a hands-free phone.

Reuters now reports, “At least one major study has found that, with mobile devices now central to their lives, young people often ignore laws against using cell phones or texting in the car. The number of text messages is up tenfold in the past three years and Americans sent an estimated 1 trillion in 2009. Some police agencies, while strongly in favor of such mandates, say its tough for officers to enforce them.”

Read the entire Reuters article.

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