Mississippi passes law banning teens from texting behind the wheel


Starting on July 1, Mississippi's teenage drivers will face severe penalties if they send text messages while driving.

The Associated Press reports that "Anyone with an intermediate license or learner's permit caught texting while driving could face a misdemeanor charge and a fine of up to $500. If there's an accident while someone is texting, the fine would be up to $1,000."

Am I missing something here? Text-messaging while driving is incredibly dangerous. A Nationwide Insurance study found that 20% of drivers send text messages while driving. Of course that number is higher among teens: 66%) but if it's dangerous -- which it obviously is -- shouldn't it be illegal for everyone?

I just don't understand why Mississippi isn't extending the ban to adults, which is the logical thing to do. Eight states have already banned text-and-drive for all drivers and many others are poised to follow suit.

On the personal finance side, this will probably reduce the amount of texting that young people do, saving parents who are dumb enough to pay their kids' cell phone bills a ton of money. It also might have saved the phone of one Wyoming girl, whose father smashed it after she ran up a $4,756.25 cell phone bill while sending and receiving around 20,000 text messages in a single month.