Utah now taking texting drivers seriously; draws it along the same lines as drunken driving
Be extra careful when you’re texting and driving anywhere near Utah these days. If you get caught, that’s 15 years in the slammer.
In an unprecedented move to curb accidents caused by texting while driving, the State of Utah has now passed a law to crack down on texting while behind the wheel of a car. Anybody who’s caught doing so can now face up to 15 years behind bars.
The bill, which has been on the burner for quite some time, was officially passed after an incident in the area cost the lives of two scientists after their car got hit by another car whose driver was pre-occupied with his phone.
While other states have already banned texting while driving, the punishment’s for being caught have been nothing more than just slaps in the wrist, with a little monetary penalty to go with it.
In Utah, that’s not the case anymore.
Under the new law, a texting driver who causes a fatality in the same way a drunken driver would will be subjected to the same standards; texting drivers who cause an accident will no longer be considered as an accident, but would now be considered as inherently reckless.
According to Lyle Hillyard, a Prepublican state senator, “It’s a willful act.
If you choose to drink and drive or if you choose to text and drive, you’re assuming the same risk.”
As the number of accidents attributed to texting and driving continues to rise, it seems like enacting a law that prohibits those who do it – or at the very least, levies the perpetrator a very, very stiff penalty – is the clearest and fastest way to curb the potentially dangerous action of texting while driving.
Utah was the first, and we’re positive that it won’t be long before other states follow in its lead.
Source: NY Times