Warning to texters: Stop before you get pulled over

By: Ashley Prchal Email
By: Ashley Prchal Email
one hand on the wheel, the other holding cell phone

News 12 tried driving while texting using a driving simulator at MCG. (August 25, 2009 / WRDW-TV)

We have all seen it, the person in the lane next to us texting while driving. Not only is it a dangerous distraction, but come Tuesday it will be illegal in the state of Colorado.

Most of us are guilty of it. “It's bad I know,” says texter Travis Ridley.

But drivers still do it. “Probably everyday,” he says.

Experts say most drivers know texting is extremely dangerous themselves and other drivers. Just taking your eyes off the road for a split second can cause a serious accident, but many just can't resist the urge to text.

“It's a habit though. Sometimes it's an important text, sometimes it's not, but you don’t know until you open it up and then it's open so you have to text back,” says Ridley.

No matter the text, officials say it's just down right dangerous and now the state is taking matters into its' own hands.

“Texting is illegal while driving now,” says Sergeant Jim Creasy of the Grand Junction Police Department. That means no texting, no tweeting, face booking or checking e–mail while you’re behind the wheel.

“I think it's a good move. Really, it's unnecessary. I mean if you can't wait five minutes before you get to your next destination it's a little silly,” says Reana Foster who is anti-texting while driving.

Sergeant Jim Creasy with the Grand Junction Police says officers will be taking the new law very seriously.

“Because of things that have happened across the state and across the country, motor vehicle accidents, things like that. There are laws and it's not uncommon,” says Creasy.

And there won't be a grace period for the public to adjust. The law has zero tolerance.

“Initial tickets could be $50 for texting while driving,” says Creasy.
Repeat offenders can expect to shell out $100 and attend traffic school.

“Theoretically if you have more than two within a certain point in time a judge could apply points to your license,” says Creasy. Texting while driving is a primary offense meaning police can pull you over for it.

A tip to keep those flashing lights out of your rear view mirror: put your phone in the trunk or out of reach so you're not tempted. Or call the person back instead of texting.

The no texting law goes into effect Tuesday, Dec. 1. Also starting that day, it will be illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to talk on a cell phone while driving.


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