Target: Mississippi Legislature
Goal: Revisit failed ban on texting while driving
Mississippi’s House of Representatives recently failed to pass a proposed bill that aimed to ban texting while driving. In recent years, texting drivers have caused numerous accidents that have injured and killed thousands of motorists and pedestrians. The Mississippi Legislature needs to be condemned for failing to save lives by choosing not to ban texting while driving, and must revisit this bill in 2015.
According to Distraction.gov, in 2012, an “estimated 421,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver.” Texting is one of many kinds of distracted driving, but it is one of the worst because it involves the use of one’s eyes and hands as well as thinking, all of which steal a driver’s attention from the road and reduce his or her reaction time. Even if a text only takes a matter of seconds, it can still prove dangerous. One recent report claims that the average driver text takes five seconds and that if “traveling at 55mph, that’s enough time to cover the length of a football field blindfolded.” Making texting while driving a criminal offense will not eliminate distracted driving accidents, but it will help raise awareness and help reduce the problem, saving lives in the process.
Most states in America already have bans on texting while driving, and many Mississippi politicians want to enact similar legislation. House Bill 484 was recently introduced to implement such a ban, and it even had the support of Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant, who stated, “[t]exting while driving is a dangerous practice and should be illegal. I look forward to reviewing and signing this law in hopes of protecting lives on Mississippi roadways.” Despite this support, the Mississippi Legislature mustered up enough opposition to kill the bill.
Sign the petition below to let the Mississippi Legislature know it should be denounced for failing to save lives by passing legislation banning texting while driving, and that it should take action to revisit the bill.
Dear Mississippi Legislature,
I was disheartened to hear that you failed to pass House Bill 484, which aimed to ban texting while driving. In recent years, distracted driving has caused hundreds of thousands of accidents, resulting in numerous injuries and fatalities. Texting while driving is one of the worst forms of distracted driving because texting uses a driver’s hands, eyes, and cognitive processes. A legal ban on texting while driving would not eliminate distracted driving accidents, but it would raise awareness and help reduce the problem, saving lives in the process.
You have failed the people of Mississippi by not passing House Bill 484. I hope your collective lapse in judgement does not result in too many fatalities, and I also hope that you revisit this bill next year and pass it on to the governor for enactment.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Alton at Wikimedia Commons