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Mobile Phone Use While Driving

Photo of Randy Sorrels

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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