Support bill to ban texting while driving

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 28, 2010

In recent months and years, we have all heard of tragedies linked to drivers who chose to read or compose text messages while at the wheel of their vehicles on our roads and highways.

To combat this problem, I have drafted a bill that I plan to introduce when the Legislature convenes in January 2011, which would outlaw texting while driving and give law enforcement the legal tools needed to ticket violators in an effort to make our streets and highways safer.

I don’t like to see new laws created, nor do I favor adding new duties to those currently being done by our law enforcement officers throughout the state. But I feel that we must take steps to protect the general public from a select few who would endanger the lives of our loved ones, neighbors and friends by operating a moving vehicle while distracted by typing in text messages.

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I am currently soliciting the support of my Senate and House colleagues so we can unanimously adopt this law in an effort to stop the senseless traffic accidents that are occurring because of negligent judgment of some vehicle operators.

I also will seek input and support from representatives of the communication industry for this bill’s passage, as I know from their past commitments, they too favor consumer safety.

I ask Mississippians to contact your elected state officials and ask them to support this measure come January 2011. All of our families, friends and fellow Mississippians have a right to drive on roadways that are free of distracted drivers.

Sen. Kelvin Butler is the District 38 Mississippi senator.