Mississippi Ban On Teen Texting Fails

(Southaven, MS) Delicia Neal says she sees people driving and texting almost every day.

She says it puts her life, and the life of her little boy, in danger, ”Yes, I do. When they do it, they’re about to run over people and not paying attention.”

Mississippi lawmakers tried to at least partially address the problem with a bill to ban texting by drivers 18 and younger.

But when it came to a printed copy of the bill, that language appeared in the title, but nowhere in the bill itself.

Nobody noticed it until the Senate had already adjourned and it was too late to do anything about it.

Police call the bill a good idea, but say it doesn’t go far enough.

”I would say, it’s a problem with everybody,” Southaven Police Lieutenant Greg Smorowski said.

In fact, in the few minutes we stopped to shoot pictures at I-55 and Goodman, we counted about a dozen people using their phones in one way or another.

Lieutenant Smorowski calls it a potentially deadly distraction, ”It takes their attention away from people that are walking down the side of the road, people riding bicycles, people stepping in the middle of the roadway. It’s a distraction.”

In the time it takes to read a text, much less answer it, drivers can travel the distance of a football field.

Neal hopes lawmakers extend the ban to everyone when they meet again next year.

”I think it should be for everybody really, not just 18 years old,” she said, because she wants a little more assurance she and her son can get where they’re going safely.

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