I’m not innocent when it comes to texting and driving. I’ve found myself driving 70 miles per hour on Route 63 when my text alert buzzes. Not one to ignore my phone, I reach over, read it, sometimes even respond.
I’ve read the horror stories and watched this sad (and a little too graphic) PSA and recognize the dangers of texting while driving, but it’s still an incredibly hard habit to break.
And my phone plan limits me to 250 text messages a month.
Last week I went with my 18-year-old sister-in-law to renew her cell phone plan. They looked up her text message usage and she puts mine to shame. She sends an average of 3,000 text messages per month – 100 text messages per day. I’m sure a fair share of that is done while driving, putting herself and others at risk.
A new law goes into effect this week that bans Missouri drivers 21 years of age or younger from sending, reading, or writing an electronic message while driving.
Initially when the law was passed, I questioned: why just youth? Why not everybody? Am I, at age 25, any less of a risk than someone under 22? Maybe not. But if you look at my texting usage compared to that of my sister-in-law’s you see the importance of banning her and other youth from texting while they are still novice drivers.
Eventually I hope the ban follows suit for the rest of us. With a fine of $200 if caught, I think I would find a way to ignore that pesky little text message – at least until I’m safely off the road.