Two measures-one in each chamber-have been introduced that would ban the use of cellphones while driving, while a separate bill in the House of Delegates would ban texting only while driving.
Texting is a serious danger, and quite frankly, one that should have been addressed by the Legislature by now. Many accidents and many fatalities have resulted because the driver was texting and not paying attention.
Thirty-five states and the District of Columbia already have a ban on texting while driving, while many others have rules regarding all use of cell phones while behind the wheel.
Many states, including West Virginia, already have laws banning school bus drivers from texting while driving. ...
Texting is dangerous. Most drivers know this to be true but don’t think anything will happen to them. But one second of distraction while operating a vehicle can have disastrous consequences.
Some opponents of any measure to curtail texting while driving believe it is an infringement on their rights. This ridiculous argument does not hold water. Drinking alcohol also is a right-but since it impairs a driver’s ability on the road, it is against the law to drink and drive. Texting also impairs a driver’s ability to concentrate on the task at hand-driving safely. If a driver is concentrating on sending a text message or reading one, the driver is not paying attention.
Wood County Delegates John Ellem and Anna Border both are sponsors of the bill banning texting only. Ellem says he believes this would be the easiest one to pass during the session. He notes several attempts to limit cell phone usage in a vehicle have failed, and as Ellem noted any ban on talking would have to include several exceptions.
‘‘We’ve separated the issue to get the more dangerous part taken care of,’’ he told the newspaper.
A law banning text messaging while operating a motor vehicle has long been needed. Hopefully this year it will be passed.
Distributed by The Associated Press