Saturday’s lead editorial encourages S.C. legislators to
This week marked the beginning of a well-deserved ban in North Carolina on sending text-messages while driving, a practice so dangerous that state lawmakers should be fighting it with every tool at their disposal.
The risk of a crash is 23 times greater while a driver is texting, according to a recent Virginia Tech Transportation Institute study. Texting causes drivers to avert their eyes from the road for full five-second intervals, during which time at highway speed they cover the length of a football field.
“Texting is in its own universe of risk,” one of the study's managers was quoted in the New York Times.
The N.C. ban has a $100 penalty that can reach $230 with fines for anyone caught sending or reading a text message while the car is in motion, though checking the phone while stopped at a light is OK.
Texting is an easy legislative target because it still has a relatively small constituency. Studies have shown that talking on the phone while driving, even on headsets, is also dangerous, taking drivers' minds off the road and increasing the likelihood of a crash to that of a drunken driver.
We hope lawmakers will soon show the courage to take on this dangerous practice as well.