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Local cops support a phone ban, but teens are unsure

Published On: Jan 24 2013 07:21:03 PM CST

Most kids agreed texting behind the wheel is dangerous, but they are not buying completely eliminating cell phones in cars.

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho -

AAA-Idaho announced Wednesday it's pushing Idaho lawmakers to ban cell phone use by drivers 18 and younger, on the grounds it will make our roads safer.

Teens use cell phones for everything nowadays -- talking, texting, and even listening to music.

Most kids agreed texting behind the wheel is dangerous, but they are not buying completely eliminating cell phones in cars.

"Since I do text and stuff like that, sometimes it's hard not to look at it," said Jordyn Eckman, a young driver.

Eckman said even though the ban would be a pain, she can see the benefits.

"I would honestly say it's a good idea," said Eckman. "But I'm turning 18 in a couple of months so I won't have to worry about it that long."

But local cops often worry about distracted driving. Idaho Falls officer, Buck Rogers, said he sees teens texting behind the wheel nearly every 10 minutes on patrol.

"3 out of 5 teens driving are on a phone," said Rogers. "It's hard enough driving as it is, to then be distracted by being on a phone."

But some teens, like Mikey Barkow, use their phones as music players that hook up to the radio in their cars.

"What if you wanted to just play music, because music isn't bad, but you have to use your cell phone to do it... most of the time, anyway," said Barkow.

There are apps parents can get that eliminate the urge to take hands off the wheel. A few block text messages and phone calls entirely, others use GPS to keep tabs on a driver's speed and location, and some read texts outloud and allow drivers to respond without touching the phone.

"Those apps are pretty good," said Rogers. "It's kind of like the computer where you can block certain sites so your son or daughter can't get on."

At the moment, 10 states ban all use of cell phones, requiring people to talk on hands-free devices.

New research shows text messaging is on the decline for the first time in U.S. History; but an analyst said Americans aren't communicating any less, just finding cheaper ways to do it, using apps like Skype, Google Voice and Facebook Messenger.

More than 30 other states have restrictions on the use of cell phones by novice drivers.

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