Published On: Wed, Feb 6th, 2013

Bill would penalize Neb. drivers for texting

LINCOLN — Nebraska lawmakers are concerned about an increase in accidents because of texting.

Texting while driving causes 1.6 million accidents and 11 teen deaths every day, according to the Texting While Driving Safety website.

Thirty-four percent of teens and 27 percent of adults have admitted to texting while driving. To help address this growing problem, Sen. John Harms introduced a new legislative bill, LB 118.

While state lawmakers may have the right idea, there are concerns about the new bill.

“I think the senators are thinking in the right direction, I just don’t know if they are thinking far enough in the right direction,” said Cedar County Sheriff Larry Koranda, who served as the President of the Neb. Sheriff’s Association in 2010.

Koranda said enforcing the law as it is proposed will be difficult because an officer will not know if the person was actually texting. In some instances, it may be obvious. In others, while it may appear the person was texting, it may be they are doing something else such as changing the radio station or looking at their GPS.