Are you breaking the law

The road can be a dangerous place. Thousands of pounds of metal cruise down city streets and highways of speeds ranging from 40-70 MPH. If a car is driving unsafely, it can be dangerous for everyone in its vicinity.

 

A person can be driving just about anywhere and see the people in the car next to them are multi-tasking by either talking on the phone or even just eating. Multi-tasking can be just as dangerous as driving drunk.

 

One of the biggest distractions while driving in the United States these days seems to be the issue of texting behind the wheel. Lawmakers throughout the US have backed this up by passing laws against texting and driving.

 

In case students who did not know this, texting while driving in Utah is against the law.

 

According to a news article written in the New York Times in 2009, “Driven to Distraction: Utah Gets Tough With Texting Drivers,” a young man, Reggie Shaw, from Logan Utah was driving while texting.

 

While driving to work he crossed the double yellow line and clipped another car. The other car spun out of control, crashed and killed the two men instantly in the car. The accident occurred in 2006.

 

The article mentioned above stated that Shaw was not put in jail right away but eventually only spent 30 days in jail and had to do 200 hours of community service.

 

In Feb. of 2009, the Utah State Legislature passed a law making it illegal to use a wireless device for texting or sending emails while operating a motor vehicle.

 

Utah House Bill 290, Sub. Section one states; “a person is guilty of careless driving if the person uses a handheld wireless communication device for text messaging or electronic mail communication while operating a moving motor vehicle.”

The bill also states that, “A violation of this section is a class C misdemeanor.”

 

We want safe drivers on the road and texting and driving is not safe. Especially considering that all over Utah they are working on roads. Traffic during construction is horrible and dangerous on its own and adding the distraction of texting just makes it worse.

 

On UVU’s campus, people have been hurt by drivers while crossing the street. Let’s hope that we don’t add to that problem by not paying attention and texting while we are driving. Let’s make the roads safe.

 

Click here to learn more about the bill.

 

By Dale Jones
Staff Writer

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