May 13 2010
Utah is one of a couple dozen states that have passed a law making texting while driving a class C misdemeanor. Although the law was passed in Utah last July surveys show that drivers who are texting has gone up. A spokesperson for the health department’s violence and injury prevention program, Kevin Condra, said “Obviously people still aren’t aware that the law is in place.”
Texting While Driving Survey
According to a recent Utah Department of Health survey 26% of adult drivers text and drive daily which is up from 23% when the law was originally passed last year. This survey was performed with 2,300 drivers and revealed that men ages 18-34 are more likely to text than any other demographic group.
Don’t Let This Be You
Cell phones are now the #1 leading cause of driver distraction due to the driver being on a phone call or texting. Anytime a driver behind a motor vehicle is putting their attention away from the road they are putting themselves and other drivers and pedestrians in trouble.
Penalties for those texting while driving can be increased if they are caught for a repeated offense, someone dies in a crash where texting was involved or if texting is involved during a car accident. Exemptions are made for medical emergencies, or reporting an accident or suspicious activity to police.
Texting while driving is serious business and a great cause of concern to the Utah Department of Health and law enforcement officials.