There is a new public service announcement out of the U.K. that warns against texting while driving. The video, which is available here on youtube, is so graphic and disturbing that I won’t link to it. Suffice it to say that it shows teenage girls, laughing and having fun, texting the usual romance fluff, as their car inches dangerously over the yellow line. The multi-car crash that follows is shown from a dashboard perspective and the viewer is spared no blood or pain. Frankly, it’s unwatchable. But can even a video that shows a girl killing her BFFs in a crash stop teens from texting and driving? A man-on-the-street interview on WNYC radio this morning suggests that even the most graphic public service announcement would have little impact. Several of those interviewed said they knew they shouldn’t text while driving (TWD) but didn’t plan to stop.
Last week, New York became the 14th state to ban texting while driving. The offense is punishable with fines up to $150, but a texting driving can only be fined if a driver is pulled over for appearing to break another law. It’s a good to make texting on driving illegal, since so many people seem to ignore their common sense and text away. But shouldn’t texting while driving be enough of an offense to stop a car?