Many feel texting while driving should be outlawed in Kentucky


Posted on July 29, 2009 at 10:54 PM

Updated Thursday, Oct 15 at 3:50 PM

(WHAS11) - We've all been there, driving behind someone or next to someone who's distracted because they're texting or emailing on their BlackBerry or iPhone.

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But a new senate bill proposed today, would require all states to ban texting or emailing while driving, and those states that don't will lose part of their federal highway funding.

"Excuse me, we're going to have to handle something..." said Officer Dean Kisling.

For Officer Dean Kisling, catching speeders on the Watterson isn't his only problem.

Kisling said, "There is 4 out of 5 cars talking on the cell phone."

Nor is it spotting people deep in conversation on their cell phones.

Kisling said, "I think nowadays it's so ingrained it's not one age range over another."

Punching buttons on a cell phone means that the 10 and 2 driving position is compromised and Kisling says those texting drivers are easy targets.

Kisling said, "They give the indicators of someone we might think is impaired. They're weaving back and forth in their lane, crossing over a lane and when you talk to them, they're texting on their cell phone."

Driving experts say texting and driving is as bad as drinking and driving. Studies have found the risk of crashing increases by 23 percent if a person is texting while driving.

If passed, a Senate bill would require all states to ban texting or emailing while driving. If the states don't, they'll lose 25 percent of their annual federal highway funding.

So we asked people if they would you vote, yes or no.

Jessica Durban said, "I think that if they were going to ban texting, they should look at talking or eating or doing all sorts of other things."

Jaime Jernigan said, "I would say it's as bad as drinking and driving . . . I'd say it can't be worse than anything else besides falling asleep."

Dan Mayer said, "It's a bill that shouldn't have to be proposed. Ban texting. It's a bad idea while driving."

That's two and a half votes, and Officer Dean Kisling votes yes.

Officer Kisling said, "I think anything that can keep roads safe . . . is for the best."

But the ban can be difficult to enforce. The Governors' Highway Safety Association is against the ban for that reason. But they admit, texting while driving is dangerous.