DUR: Texting While Driving is Illegal

Californians ignore a texting behind the wheel law.

By Kimber Liponi
|  Thursday, Sep 16, 2010  |  Updated 9:42 AM PDT
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Texting is not allowed while driving – that’s the law in California.  But a lot of drivers ignore it.

When the law went into effect over a year and a half ago, a lot of people paid attention.  But the Automobile Club of Southern California says that’s not the case anymore.

They checked out a sample of 4,000 vehicles in Orange County, and found 2.7 percent of the drivers were texting while driving – that’s about twice as many as when the law went into effect.

That may not sound like a lot, 2.7 percent, but think about this:

    Nearly 6,000 people died in car accidents attributed to distracted drivers in 2008, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.  515,000 people were injured that same year, also because of distracted drivers.

In California, drivers caught texting are fined $20 for a first offense and no points are added to the driver’s record.  "Compared to other moving violations, that’s nothing," Jeff Spring, AAA Spokesperson told NBC4.

Auto Club officials want to see bigger fines and an impact on driving records.  A bill that would add some teeth to the texting while driving ban was recently defeated in the Legislature.

BTW: DUR in the headline = Don’t you remember?

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