Texting While Driving
By: Alice Santell
Written: Spring of 2013
Terre Haute, Ind – One Indiana State University student told how he uses his phone while driving.
“I use it sparingly, mostly when the car is not moving. If I have to text, I will but I try not to use my phone at all,” Scott Gesiakowski said.
A few years ago, Gesiakowski was in a car wreck where he ended upside down in a drainage ditch, covered in mud, and had to fight his way out of a flooded car. This wreck was not caused by phone use, but it has made him very cautious while driving, which is why he does not often use a phone while driving.
The student then said what he believed the laws are.
“It is illegal to text and drive under 18, and talking on phones is downright illegal,” Gesiakowski said.
After finding out he was wrong, Gesiakowski was asked if he believed that young people are aware of the laws.
“Not likely,” he said.
Indiana cell phone laws changed in 2011, outlawing texting regardless of age and regular cell phone use to anyone under 18. There are currently no laws for iPod use, although this could change within the next few years with the laws changing and the rise in technology. Many young people may not be aware of the current laws.
Does the problem of unawareness of laws come from the teachers or the students? If people do not go to a driver education program, they are in charge of making sure they know the laws as they change.
Thea is an instructor at AA Indiana Driving School.
“We do teach the most current laws, and as the state changes the laws we update our lesson plans,” she said.
Jerry Mazur is the founder and instructor of the Certified Driving School in Northwest Indiana.
“As far as the question of are teens informed? We talk about it all of the time but like a lot of other things you have to wonder if anyone is listening,” he said.