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Copyright (c) 2009 Valparaiso University Law Review
Valparaiso University Law Review

NOTE: TALKING AND TEXTING WHILE DRIVING: A LOOK AT REGULATING CELL PHONE USE BEHIND THE WHEEL

Fall, 2009

Valparaiso University Law Review

44 Val. U.L. Rev. 237

Author

Shannon L. Noder *

Excerpt

I. INTRODUCTION

Imagine traveling on a roadway behind a vehicle swerving back and forth over the lines or driving at very inconsistent speeds. You wonder what could possibly be causing the driver to drive so erratically. Is the driver drunk? Is the driver preoccupied with eating his or her lunch? Is the driver busy attending to children in the backseat? As you pull alongside the driver, you realize this is not the case. Instead, you notice that the driver has a cellular telephone (hereinafter "cell phone") up to his or her ear and is busy chatting away, or even worse, you notice that the driver is busy looking down typing a text message on his or her cell phone. As you pass the driver, who is more focused on his or her cell phone conversation than on driving, you are disgusted. However, if you are like eighty-five percent of Americans, you answer your cell phone or make a phone call just moments later, thereby engaging in the same dangerous practice that just annoyed you. 1

Unfortunately, these dangerous practices of talking on a cell phone or text messaging while driving have become common and carry deadly consequences. 2 For example, a mother was driving her two-year-old daughter, Morgan Lee Pena, home from a play-date when a driver, distracted by a cell phone conversation, missed a stop sign and crashed into her car, killing Morgan. 3 In another deadly accident, five teenage girls, ...
 
 
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