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Report: Laws alone won't stop cell phone use while driving

IL Staff
February 12, 2010
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A House bill looking to ban texting while driving in Indiana on its own may not be very effective in preventing drivers from using their cell phones in the car, according to a policy brief from an Indiana University research center.

Laws regulating cell phones while driving aren't doomed to fail, but they need to be reinforced with campaigns designed for target audiences, according to Matt Nagle, a research analyst at the Center for Criminal Justice Research and author of the brief. Older drivers tend to be deterred by the threat of law enforcement, but younger drivers are more influenced by their peers, who say it's acceptable to use a cell phone while driving.

Drivers under the age of 18 already can't use a cell phone while driving in Indiana, thanks to a new ban that took effect in July 2009.

House Bill 1279, which is currently in the Senate Committee on Rules and Legislative Procedure, would make it a Class C infraction if someone sends a text or e-mail while behind the wheel, unless they are using a hands-free or voice-operated device to send the message.

The brief, "Cell phones and driving: A review of legislation, risk perception and mitigation tactics," cites several studies that show the risk of having an accident when using a cell phone while driving is much greater than for those who don't.

Nagle noted that many drivers in Indiana are often alone in their cars and research has shown those drivers are more likely to talk on their phones.

"Without publicity campaigns to highlight the risks and without enforcement to provide a punitive deterrent, drivers may be inclined to continue this driving behavior," according to the policy brief.

The brief is available online.

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  2. We won!!!! It was a long expensive battle but we did it. I just wanted people to know it is possible. And if someone can point me I. The right direction to help change the way the courts look as grandparents as only grandparents. The courts assume the parent does what is in the best interest of the child...and the court is wrong. A lot of the time it is spite and vindictiveness that separates grandparents and grandchildren. It should not have been this long and hard and expensive...Something needs to change...

  3. Typo on # of Indiana counties

  4. The Supreme Court is very proud that they are Giving a billion dollar public company from Texas who owns Odyssey a statewide monopoly which consultants have said is not unnecessary but worse they have already cost Hoosiers well over $100 MILLION, costing tens of millions every year and Odyssey is still not connected statewide which is in violation of state law. The Supreme Court is using taxpayer money and Odyssey to compete against a Hoosier company who has the only system in Indiana that is connected statewide and still has 40 of the 82 counties despite the massive spending and unnecessary attacks

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