Put down the cell phone in the car

An ordinance that bans texting while driving, and use of all hand held devices while driving, became law in Marietta this week. While motorists will have a few months to get used to the idea, we hope people realize by now the real danger texting while driving presents.

Marietta City Council officially approved the ordinance this week, but city police won’t issue tickets for violations until July. In the meantime, they will issue warnings.

We hope motorists don’t use this time to text as much as possible. In fact, we hope motorists do whatever they can immediately to avoid texting while driving a car.

It’s already illegal in West Virginia, and as most of us drive back and forth across the river, it’s just good judgement to stop texting while driving altogether.

For those who think an outright ban is overkill, we want to remind you that texting and driving can do just that – kill. Texting and driving now kills more teens than drinking and driving. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that nearly 3,000 teens die each year in texting and driving crashes.

But it’s not just young people who need to watch out. Drivers of all ages must use good judgement and put down the phone. Nearly half of all drivers under the age of 35 send or read texts while driving and overall, 60 percent of all drivers use cell phones whil driving, according to stoptextsstopwrecks.org.

Another fact to wrap your head around – you are two times more likely to crash if you drive and text.

The bottom line, don’t do it. Don’t talk on your cell phone, don’t text, keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road. And even though the city of Marietta is giving motorists a grace period before executing tickets for a violation, we urge motorists to stop texting and driving now.