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Troopers show teens dangers of texting while driving

Posted October 8, 2009

— State troopers were at Enloe High School in Raleigh Thursday with a message for students: Don't text and drive.

"There's always that urge that when the phone is ringing, to reach down and grab it and look at it while you're driving," North Carolina Highway Patrol spokesman Capt. Everett Clendenin said. "We're telling you the message today is not to do that."

Enloe students learn consequences of texting, driving Enloe students learn consequences of texting, driving

As part of its Texting While Driving Campaign that will target schools across the state, troopers arranged a makeshift course using traffic cones and showed students how difficult it can be to text and drive. Students used a golf cart to negotiate the course while texting.

"The risks are so high," said Enloe student Monica Mann. "Why would you risk all the passengers' lives and your own life just to text, when you could just finish it when you're done driving?"

According to the Highway Patrol, a teen can create and send a text message in 10 to 15 seconds. Driving 60 mph covers more than 80 feet per second, and one text could equal a tenth of a mile that a motorist is not paying attention to driving.

State law already prohibits drivers under age 18 from using cell phones and texting.

A law that takes effect Dec. 1, however, will ban all drivers from text messaging or sending e-mails while driving. It will still be legal, however, for adult drivers to make calls.

A conviction could result in a $100 fine and court costs.

Last year, 140 teenage drivers were killed on North Carolina highways – many while students were on their way to and from school.

Thursday's program was part of the Highway Patrol's broader initiative aimed at reducing fatalities and collisions among teen drivers, "Operation Drive to Live."

14 Comments

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  • superman Oct 9, 2009

    Serious mistake that our lawmakers do not outlaw texting and talking on the cell phone while driving. I rather take my chance with drunk drivers on the road than the thousands of people talking on the cell phone.

  • jprime Oct 9, 2009

    there are plenty of people out there who are horrible drivers even if they are paying 100% attention to the road. You just have to learn to be an alert and assertive driver.

  • Desiderata Oct 8, 2009

    It would be a good idea to SHOW the kids in school what an accident scene looks like, including the extraction of the dead and injured and remind them it could be them or their friends,,,,As for me ,,,only talk to family ,,that way it is automatic and I can hang up anytime without them getting mad...only talk for emergency purposes anymore...

  • mebgirl1984 Oct 8, 2009

    Yeah Professor and Pirmin, a Trooper using his or her on-board computer may determine whether or not they get to your house before you are shot and left for dead.....A teen texting, on the other hand??? I truly hope you realize the difference.

  • fl2nc2ca2md2nc Oct 8, 2009

    It says "while driving." So does that mean I can still text at stoplights?

  • courtdork91 Oct 8, 2009

    I'd have to say, its not only teens who text/talk & drive. Adults do the same thing.

  • LibertarianTechie Oct 8, 2009

    How about this.....the next accident that happens to a teenager...the aftermath should be video taped by a first responder. Then show this to schools around the state. Show the blood, scratches, even a dead body if there is one; even how the vehicle looks like. And then follow the teenagers through recovery, with tubes hooked into there bodies, and then going through physical therapy, to try to get your legs to walk again after not being able to use them for several months. This is what happened to my brother. Too bad no one could video tape him being trapped in the vehicle wrapped around a tree, or the nightmares for the next two nights afterward. This would have an effect on teenagers--because it brings it home to them; that it can happen to them.

  • 6079 SMITH W Oct 8, 2009

    They won't listen. It always happens to somebody else. Teenagers and phones plus cars equals disaster. Notice how 16 year olds can't just automatically get their license anymore? Why not? Because they are not mature enough now at 16. Why are these latest generations different? Could it have anything to do with the "extended childhood" they go through now? I was pretty immortal at that age myself, but the thought of an accident that would, at the very least, deprive me of my freedom made me at least think twice about reckless driving. All that seems to be lost on the new drivers now. Add phones to the mix, and it only adds up to a recipe for tragic results. Please talk to your kids about this...it could save their life.

  • Professor Oct 8, 2009

    Troopers using their on-board computers while driving.
    pirmin
    October 8, 2009 5:18 p.m.
    Ignore Report abuse

    THEY SHOULD FOLLOW THE RULES TOO.

  • Capitals Fan Oct 8, 2009

    Now, if only they will teach a class to all the adults driving like idiots because they are on their cell phones. Either drive OR talk on the phone. Why it is legal to do both at the same time makes no sense to me.

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