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Mobile Phone Use While Driving

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The Texas Transportation Institute recently surveyed 1,167 licensed drivers at ten different Texas Department of Public Safety drivers' license stations and concluded that 52% of Texas drivers would support a law prohibiting mobile phone usage while driving. This survey comes in advance of the 2011 Texas legislative session, which begins in January.

In bills that have been pre-file, several Texas legislators seek to ban or limit mobile phone use in varying degrees and capacities. One bill, for example, would ban texting, instant messaging and e-mailing while driving. Another bill would require the driver of a vehicle to use a hands-free device if the driver wished to talk on the phone while driving.

There have been other studies recently released that support a correlation between collisions and cell phone usage. In the TTI release, it was noted that up to 85% of those surveyed believed texting or talking while driving is worse than it was five years ago. On the other hand, statistics indicate that roadway deaths are down about 17% over the last five years. But most drivers currently believe it is more dangerous to text or e-mail while driving than if not doing so.

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