News and Tribune

Editorials

September 26, 2012

THEIR OPINION: Sept. 26, 2012

(Continued)

> SOUTHERN INDIANA — A pledge to put down the phone

Indiana can pass a law, and drivers still will compose and send text messages while behind the wheel.

Parents can rail on their kids about the dangers of taking their eyes off the road and their minds off the task of staying between the lines, but young drivers still are going to check their smartphones.

Addiction of any kind comes with hazards. And that includes trying to handle a car and a text exchange at the same time.

Last week, Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller took another approach, bringing a driving simulator and a pledge to West Lafayette Jr.-Sr. High School.

The simulator, part of an awareness campaign between AT&T and the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute, gave a video-game taste of just how quickly the situation can change on the road when attention is diverted even for a quick “OMG lol.”

The numbers are spooky, and believable: AT&T reported 75 percent of teens surveyed said texting while driving was a common thing among their friends.

The pledge Zoeller wanted the students to take was part of the “It Can Wait” campaign (found at www.itcanwait.com). The point: No amount of policing can replace the common sense and personal responsibility it takes to leave the phone be while driving.

That’s a mantra that doesn’t need to be restricted to the youngest drivers.

— The Journal and Courier, Lafayette

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