This month a new law allows police to pull over a driver they suspect is texting and driving, but what some may not realize is the law is even stricter for young drivers.
To many parents, the new law against cell phones for teenage drivers is a welcome relief. "It's a great idea," Michelle Binkauskas said standing next to her teenage daughter, "When I was growing up, there weren't as many distractions and all, and I think the kids now have too much going on. I think just driving is more than enough. I think cell phones should be in their purses or in the back of the trunk."
Michelle Binkauskas' daughter Danielle agrees. "I can't walk and text," Danielle said.
However, it's not just texting. The new law forbids anyone under 18 from even talking on their phones while they're behind the wheel, and that added limitation may be a tougher sell for teens. "When you're texting," teenager Andrea Laporte explained, "you're actually looking down, and you're not paying attention to the road, but when you're on the phone, you can just hold it up to your phone, and have the bluetooth thing, and you can still be looking at the road."
That distinction is something authorities hope parents will make clear to their teenage children before they take to the roads. It may be possible to talk and drive, but until you're 18 it isn't allowed.
As far as texting and driving goes, some parents say they're encouraged that a widespread public campaign against the practice seems to be having an influence on young people. "A lot of friends, if you're in the car with someone else, you ask them to text for you, so there's not as much of that distraction," Danielle Binkauskas said.
Throughout the summer police will have check points set up to warn people of the new law. Then starting next year, drivers caught texting while driving will get a ticket.