Erie County is ahead of the game in terms of prohibiting texting while driving. Now the state is trying to play catch up. Governor David Paterson is proposing legislation that would make texting while driving a primary offense and would allow police officers to pull someone over for texting.
Captain Mike Nigrelli, New York State Police, says "I can clearly see in my vehicle I can look down into the interior of the motor vehicle and see what's going on and because they're not doing anything else wrong: they're wearing their seat belt, they are driving at the appropriate speed and their staying within their lane, I have no other reason to stop that vehicle .
That could all change if the bills is passed. Negrelli says they are waiting for the senate to review when they return from the holiday break.
There is a hefty fine of $150 that comes along with it and will hopefully deter drivers.
Kathy Szwajda is an instructor at the Buffalo Driving School and she thinks this new law is a very good idea.
"Putting your eyes down just to say hi to someone takes at least 1 second means you're actually traveling 60 feet without controlling your environment around you and knowing where you are and what direction you're going in instead of focusing on the front of you vehicle," she says.
Distracted driving is the leading killer of teenage Americans with more than six thousand being killed in 2008 and over 500,000 injured.
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