New law provides consequences for texting and driving, has students worried

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Anjel-Ali Ormond

Senior Enrique Navedo sits in his truck mindlessly looking at his phone. According to Teendriversource.org, high school students that use their phone while driving are less likely to wear a seatbelt, and more likely to drive and drive.

Pulling up to a stoplight, senior Enrique Navedo pulls out his phone to respond to a few texts. His mother is asking what time he’ll be home for dinner and his friend is begging for last night’s homework. But answering those text could result in a hefty fine.

Recently the Texas legislature passed a law that prohibits using your phone even when you’re stopped at a stoplight.

“The problem is that while driving, diverting your attention from the road for a fraction of a second can cause an accident,” School Resource Officer Pete Mann said.

Even with this law, many students doubt it’ll change drivers’ behavior.

“It’s not going to be effective,” junior Claire Gibson said. “Until a life-altering thing happens for somebody, they’re not going to change their minds on any laws.”

However, some students don’t get on their phones while driving because they understand it’s a risk to take their eyes off the road.

“I already don’t get on my phone much, but now I really won’t do it because I’ll be thinking about the new law,” sophomore Macy Wright said.

Even though some students won’t worry about it, there’s a price to pay if they’re caught.

“Texting while driving and while at a stop sign are basically the same violation; however, a judge can impose a higher fine based on the totality of circumstances,” Officer Mann said. “Texting while driving in a school zone would probably increase the fine considerably.”

Time will tell if this law will have any impact on the community.

“I really hope it does affect how students, and teens in general, drive,” Officer Mann said. “If everyone followed the law, it would greatly reduce the number of accidents.”