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Dramatic step to battle texting while driving

It angers me beyond belief anytime I spot someone on the road texting and driving. Using your gadget while driving puts you and everyone else on the road at risk. It's one of the most dangerous and selfish things you can do.  Every year, too many people die from car accidents that could have easily been avoided.

That's why I always use a hands-free gadget to answer calls while driving. Everything else can wait. If there's a really important text I have to read, then it's easy enough to pull into a parking lot for a moment to deal with it.

A few weeks ago, I told you about this young woman in North Dakota who was checking Facebook and caused an accident that killed a great-grandmother. It's a tragic story that never should have happened. My teenage son isn't even old enough to drive yet, but I'm already warning him about the dangers of using his phone behind the wheel.

Now, Nassau County in New York is taking steps to stop texting while driving once and for all. It's about time someone came up with a solution because there are lives at stake.

Disabled phones

The District Attorney in Nassau Country is currently trying to change the punishment for drivers caught texting on roadways. The new penalty would require those drivers to temporarily disable their phones while they're driving.

District Attorney Kathleen Rice compares texting dangers to drunk driving. While they're not the same, both take the driver's focus off of the road and have resulted in a lot of pain and suffering. It's no small problem, either. About 20% of drivers text or surf the Web while driving according to the National Highway Safety Administration.

"Like ignition interlock devices, transdermal alcohol monitoring ankle bracelets, and personal breath testing instruments, DA Rice believes that available technologies must be employed in criminal sentences to change behavior and save lives. The cost of each of these devices would be borne by the offender," the prosecutor said in a press release.

There are already 44 states that have outlawed texting while driving, but that's obviously not enough because a lot of people still don't think it's a big deal. Hopefully this new rule goes into effect and can change their minds.

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