MS bypasses ban on texting and driving - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

MS bypasses ban on texting and driving

LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) -

Did the Mississippi legislature make the right decision not to outlaw texting while driving? This week lawmakers decided not ban the practice just as the U.S. Department of Transportation launched its first campaign against texting and cell phone usage behind the wheel.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2012 alone, more than 3,300 people were killed in distracted driving crashes. A majority of teens and young people admit they have written, sent, and read text messages while driving.

In talking to drivers, most of them had stories about encounters they'd had with people who were more engrossed in their cell phones than the wheel.

"I was out driving and going to the store," said driver C.J. Bowser. "There was a fellow in front of me about to run into oncoming traffic in the opposite lane and he was texting on his telephone."

"I don't think we can trust people to stay off of their cell phone," said driver Willie Shook. "Whether it's texting or talking or their cell phone, they're distracted. I've almost had several accidents where people would pull out in front of me or run into me."

In Mississippi, texting while driving isn't illegal and some drivers say that needs to change.

Holly Rutledge said, "It's become a habit for a lot of people and it's something that's really dangerous."

"This generation coming up, everybody is texting and it's really dangerous," said Anthony Landry.

Shook said, "Teenagers are not going to decide they're not going to talk on their cell phone or text. They're going to text no matter what. It's just too dangerous. Too many accidents and too many lives are at stake."

With lives at stake, some drivers believe there needs to be a penalty.

Charlene Howard said, "Important things like that if you don't get a ticket or get noticed for doing those mistakes, then how can they be fixed? All the time I see people on the phone. If I need to, I just pull over. Pull over. It takes a few seconds then get safely back on the road."

Currently, 43 states ban text messaging for drivers of all ages. Twenty states prohibit all drivers from using hand-held cell phones while driving.

Watch one of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's new ads about the deadly consequences of distracted driving: http://youtu.be/6oeCUM2Alaw

Copyright 2014 WLOX. All rights reserved.

  • More Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • WATCH LIVE ON 7NEWS SUNRISE: Boating season

    WATCH LIVE ON 7NEWS SUNRISE: Boating season

    Thursday, May 25 2017 5:30 AM EDT2017-05-25 09:30:54 GMT
    (Source: KPLC)(Source: KPLC)

    Good Morning. John Bridges and Britney Glaser here with a look at what's coming up on 7News Sunrise.

    More >>

    Good Morning. John Bridges and Britney Glaser here with a look at what's coming up on 7News Sunrise.

    More >>
  • Calcasieu Parish parents upset about pre-K wait list letters

    Calcasieu Parish parents upset about pre-K wait list letters

    Thursday, May 25 2017 12:22 AM EDT2017-05-25 04:22:43 GMT
    (Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)(Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)

    Many parents are angry after finding out there is a chance their child might not be able to attend pre-kindergarten for the upcoming school year. 

    A family's income has to be below 185 percent of the federal poverty guidelines to be accepted into a pre-K program with Calcasieu Parish Schools. 

    Unfortunately, many families who applied didn't meet those requirements, and have received a letter saying they've been wait listed. 

    More >>

    Many parents are angry after finding out there is a chance their child might not be able to attend pre-kindergarten for the upcoming school year. 

    A family's income has to be below 185 percent of the federal poverty guidelines to be accepted into a pre-K program with Calcasieu Parish Schools. 

    Unfortunately, many families who applied didn't meet those requirements, and have received a letter saying they've been wait listed. 

    More >>
  • Termites swarm Southwest Louisiana

    Termites swarm Southwest Louisiana

    Wednesday, May 24 2017 11:52 PM EDT2017-05-25 03:52:41 GMT
    Source: KPLCSource: KPLC

    Come nightfall, it is a sight almost impossible to miss - swarms upon swarms of termites crowding bright lights. "Everyone's kind of freaking out," said Robert Soileau, branch manager of J & J Exterminators. "Our areas expanding, so they're everywhere and you're going to continue to see them." But, a swarm of termites is not necessarily dangerous to your home. However, once you notice large numbers of termites inside, that is when it is time to seek...

    More >>

    Come nightfall, it is a sight almost impossible to miss - swarms upon swarms of termites crowding bright lights. "Everyone's kind of freaking out," said Robert Soileau, branch manager of J & J Exterminators. "Our areas expanding, so they're everywhere and you're going to continue to see them." But, a swarm of termites is not necessarily dangerous to your home. However, once you notice large numbers of termites inside, that is when it is time to seek...

    More >>
Powered by Frankly