New Laws Aim to Curb Teen Distracted Driving

New texting laws are in effect for teens. Photo Credit: Angela Pascale

By Angela Pascale

Many BHS students obtain a driver’s license. Along with all the other distractions a cell phone may bring, now there’s one more thing for teenage drivers to worry about – new laws aimed at teens are becoming stricter for cell phone use.

A new Connecticut law states that 16- and 17-year-olds may not use any kind of cell phone while driving, including a hands-free device. If they are caught, the penalties are more severe. The law went into effect Oct. 1.

NBC reports that “Points go against a driver’s license for two years and licenses are suspended for anyone with more than 10 points, according to regulations posted on the state Department of Motor Vehicle’s Web site“.

When a few students were asked about whether they used a cell phone while driving, most said yes. Senior Gina Marino said, “every day when I’m leaving school, before anyone has even left the parking lot, I see a lot of students looking down at their phones. It’s crazy”.

One of the leading causes to car crashes is the use of a cell phone while driving. Each day in the United States, more than 9 people are killed and more than 1,060 people are injured in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver. There are three different types of distraction that can cause an accident to happen and they are:

    1. Visual: taking your eyes off the road

    2. Manual: taking your eyes off the road

    3. Cognitive: taking your mind off the road

The use of a cell phone causes all of the above distractions to occur.

As many sophomores begin to turn 16 they are all just beginning the driving process. It is very important these student drivers understand the dangers of distracted driving.

“I think that using your phone while driving is not necessary, as well as dangerous,” sophomore Michaela Gavigan said. “People also always drive with other people in the car when it’s not allowed and that causes another major distraction.”

What do you think about the newer, stricter laws? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter @BranfordBuzz.