Texting While Driving More Common Than Speeding

Published 09/04 2013 02:06PM

Updated 09/04 2013 02:15PM

A man hit and killed an 86 year old woman in Wisconsin and he may have been texting and driving.

Deputy Richard Amundsen in La Crosse County says, "I think it's more common than a person speeding."

A lot of times people set their cruise control so they're not speeding, well then they'll reach down to check their text message and send on back and forth.  If you're caught sending or receiving texts, it's a hefty $188 dollar fine.

"It actually falls under the inattentive driver statue in Wisconsin.  We find that a lot of time accidents are caused by people who just are not paying attention."

Texting and driving makes a crash 23 times more likely, according to Texting and Driving Safety and Amundsen says it's not just messaging but social media use that can result in a citation.

"It calls under receiving or sending electronic messages so if you're updating your status, that's going to be an issue as well.  If you have a probationary license, it's not just texting and driving that's illegal.  You're not allowed to talk on your phone.  It's about $166 dollar fine and an automatic 6 months extension on that graduated driver's license."

Amundsen says even if you're stopped at a red light, you're still operating a vehicle and can be ticketed.  He says silence your phone or set an automatic response so people know you're driving and will answer when you reach your destination.

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