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Distraction-Free Driving

A Houston woman today was sentenced to 30 days in jail — ten years probation and a ten thousand dollar fine for causing a fatal accident while talking on her cell phone. The dangers of talking and texting while driving are at the center of a National Campaign by Triple A to urge people to drive distraction-free. Laurie Johnson reports.

In 2008 more than one billion text messages were sent per month. OMG.

It’s safe to say a significant number of those texts were sent while driving.

Sarah Schimmer is the spokesperson for AAA Texas. She says they’re lobbying for a ban on texting and driving in
all 50 states.

“Cell phone use has been shown to cause a 35 percent decline in actually controlling the vehicle and also a 91 percent decline in steering wheel control.”

There are already laws against texting for all drivers in 18 states and the District of Columbia.

AAA wants similar laws enacted across the nation by 2013. Industry research indicates up to 70 percent of people who text while driving, stop doing so after texting bans are enacted.

Schimmer says right now they’re asking people to drive distraction-free for one week.

“For people who are going to take the challenge and try to be text-free, cell phone-free, the best thing to do is turn off that device and stow it in a place where you’re not tempted to reach for it.”

Research shows one in five drivers admits to texting while driving at least once in the last 30 days. And that’s nothing to LOL about.

Laurie Johnson. KUHF-Houston Public Radio News.

 

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Laurie Johnson

Executive Producer for News

Laurie Johnson leads daily news coverage for HPM. She helps reporters craft and sharpen their stories on tight deadlines, with the aim of getting the most relevant and current information into local newscasts. Laurie is a native Houstonian who started her career at Houston Public Media in 2002. She is...

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