Saturday, August 23, 2014
   
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GHS students sound off about proposed ban on texting while driving

Ding! Text message.

Her hand reaches for her phone and clicks it to open the message as her eyes wander off the road to read it.

Just for a second.

But when she looks up, she’s not even in her own lane.

Gasping, she yanks the wheel and narrowly misses an oncoming truck.

A single second is all took. A text message about the movies nearly ended her life and the life of her passenger which was me..

Is texting really worth the risk it entails?

Nebraska State Sen. John Harms doesn’t think so.

During this legislative session, Harms introduced a bill that would stop people from texting on any handheld wireless device while driving a vehicle.

“It’s becoming a dangerous epidemic that could kill many people,” Harms was quoted as saying in Unicameral Update.

Harms defined a wireless device as any of the following: cell phone, text message devices, PDA’s, laptops and pagers.

The only thing excluded in the proposed bill, which was advanced to select file, would be devices that are part of the vehicle or a hands-free device.

The measure could be amended at this stage, returned to committee, indefinitely postponed or advanced to final reading.

Legislative officials said Monday the proposal is likely to be discussed on the floor this week.

If passed, violators of the bill will face fines of $200 for a first offense, $300 for a second offense and $500 for a third offense.

In addition to paying a fine, they will also get three points taken from their driver’s licenses.

In the article, Harms said that receiving or sending a text message takes 4.6 seconds which may not seem very long but, in 4.6 seconds at 55 mph, a vehicle travels the length of a football field.

“It’s not a long period of time but it’s quick enough to kill you,” he said.

The bill could also save money, Harms said, if federal legislation passes that cuts highway funding to states without a ban.

With many people advocating the banning of texting while driving, which has been passed by at least 20 states, it may become reality.

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