There’s growing support for efforts to ban texting, and limit cell phone use behind the wheel. In Wisconsin proposed bills would ban texting by all drivers, and bar drivers under the age of 18 or who have an instruction permit from using a cell phone. Both good ideas, says John Ulczycki with the National Safety Council. “We would strongly encourage states to do that,” says Ulczycki. “We think the risks are very clear, particularly for teenagers.”
Ulczycki says Wisconsin is one of eighteen states without either law on the books. “But, I think it’s only a matter of time before all fifty states will recognize that texting needs to be banned, and teen drivers need to focus on becoming skilled competent drivers,” he says.
John Walls is with CTIA – The Wireless Association, which also has no objections to legal restrictions. “Certainly as a younger driver, you need to focus on learning the ways of behind the wheel. That’s drilling down on driving and tuning out all the other distractions that exist.” Walls says adults can model good behavior by concentrate on driving safely. “We support anti-texting legislation. We don’t think that texting and safe driving are combatable in any way whatsoever, and there’s no reason for any driver ever to be texting when they’re behind the wheel. The two groups have teamed up on a new website, onroadoffphone.org, aimed at educating parents and teen drivers on the risks of texting or talking on the phone while driving.