Posted in Blog on May 25, 2013
A new survey of teenagers conducted by State Farm has very depressing news. Education and awareness campaigns and parental involvement do not seem to be sufficient for a teenage motorist to stop texting while driving. A vast majority of teenagers are only motivated to stop texting while driving if they have been involved in an accident caused because of texting while driving, or know someone who has been involved in such an accident.
The survey finds that involvement in an accident, or knowing someone who has been involved in a texting while driving-related accident is sufficient to deter teenagers from texting while driving. However, the survey also finds that approximately 80% of teenagers would stop texting while driving if they were cited for this. That does prove that stronger enforcement of laws that ban texting while driving for novice drivers could help reduce this practice among teenagers.
Stronger penalties against texting while driving for teenage drivers could also motivate teenagers to give up texting while driving. However, in many states, the penalties for texting while driving are too low to have an effect. For instance, in Colorado, which has a law banning texting while driving and the use of hand-held cell phones while driving, a person who is caught texting while driving, can be fined $50. Those are very low fines, and they do nothing to encourage teenagers to hang up their cell phones when they drive.
However, Colorado is much better than many other states around the country that have ridiculously low fines for texting while driving by novice drivers. For instance, the state of California fines violators a stiff fine of $20.