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Texting while driving can be deadly

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People have known for many years that driving and talking on a cell phone are a bad mix. With advancements in technology, there is another dangerous practice that has become more widespread — mobile phone text messaging while driving. Text messaging — which involves typing in letters or numbers to send messages — is extremely popular among high-school and college-age people, but there are some adults who utilize this form of communication as well. Some people have, in fact, become so dependent on this means to communicate that they find it difficult to abstain from it even while behind the steering wheel.

Consequently, Louisiana legislators recently made it easier for police to ticket motorists for texting while driving. According to the new law, which went into effect last Sunday, police officers can pull over and ticket anyone they see who is texting while driving. Previously, officers could only ticket the texters if they were first pulled over for another violation, such as speeding. Lincoln Parish Sheriff’s Office Capt. Stephen Williams said since the new law has been in place, three people in the area have been pulled over and ticketed for texting while driving. “It’s a problem, especially with your younger drivers,” Williams said. “I would say 50 percent of the motorists probably send e-mails or text while driving.”

Williams said tickets for driving while texting run around $200 on the first offense once court costs are added in. Additional offenses cost $500.

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