A statewide ban on texting - or otherwise using a handheld electronic device - while driving went into effect Friday. Drivers have a six-month grace period before law-enforcement officers start issuing $150 tickets for violations.
Use of navigational gear such as GPS units would be allowed.
The law is more strict for teens than adults. Texting while driving (or handling an MP3 player, laptop, tablet computer or similar gadgets) is a primary offense for minors, but adults would have to be stopped for speeding or another moving violation before they could face a fine for texting. Also, grownups still may talk on a cellphone while driving, but teens may not.
But what sort of example would adults be setting by doing that? Besides, it's likely that texting while driving will become a primary offense for adults eventually, and many cities and towns have their own texting while driving laws that will supersede state law.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, sending or reading a text takes a driver's eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds.
We urge adults to be good role models and pull off the road and stop before using a mobile device. Sharing the road is great. Sharing your attention is not.