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Texting While Driving More Dangerous Than DWI

Should TWD be treated the same as DWI?


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danarhea

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There has been a lot of discussion and commentary about “texting while driving” and the dangerous involved in this activity. The Syracuse Post Standard notes a Virginia Tech Transportation Instutite Study that texting while driving is even more dangerous than driving while intoxicated (DWI).
So, should the penalties for DWT be as severe as those for DWI? If TWD is actually more dangerous than DWI, then should people convicted of TWD go to prison on their third conviction in Texas, just like those convicted of their third DWI do?

Here is the way I see it. Drunk drivers kill many, and the association of alcohol in those crimes throws an added assumption of immorality into the mix. Lawmakers, of course, capitalize on this, especially in Texas, where convicting someone of DWI is also known as "going medieval" on them.

OK, as someone who is currently on probation for a DWI, I understand. The county that I live in has more deaths of innocent people due to DWI than any other county in the entire nation. Drunk drivers should be taken off the road, and dealt with harshly. I get it. It certainly took my "getting it" to get it, but I get it. LOL.

However, texting while driving is actually causing more deaths in the Houston area than DWI is, and that presents the following conundrum:

Does the fact that no alcohol was present in accidents caused by TWD somehow mitigate the damage, injuries, or deaths caused by those who commit it? Is the fact that alcohol is demonized by many an excuse to give those who text while driving a lesser sentence? I don't believe so. There should never be favoritism under the law, and that includes playing favorites with TWD'ers, who do at least as much damage as those who commit DWI. There should be one standard for all. If DWI is the serious crime that it is (And I believe that it is), then those who text while driving should be held to the exact same standard of behavior. Period. There is no excuse to do it any other way.

Now answer the poll.

Article, with links, is here.
 

Ikari

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I believe our drunk driving laws are well too excessive and are pushed by emotional outbursts and pleas particularly from certain groups in society. The solution is to bring all the punishments into a reasonable response.

Besides, we have laws already, reckless driving and endangerment laws, etc. I don't like all these other laws. Driving drunk impairs your ability to drive as does texting. So that should have a physical form, right? A manifestation by which we in the real world can observe? And that observable is already illegal, it's reckless driving. We just keep making more and more laws; soon we'll all be guilty of something at any given time.
 

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Fines for texting should be high enough to deter the practice. My nephew rolled his car a few weeks ago because he was texting. He was lucky he had his seat belt on or it could have been a real tragedy.
 

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Texting was not considered reckless driving. There were no laws against it.

Wrong.....



Alabama

Code of Alabama 1975, Title 32 (Motor Vehicles and Traffic), Section 32-5A-190 (Reckless driving):

(a) Any person who drives any vehicle carelessly and heedlessly in willful or wanton disregard for the rights or safety of persons or property, or without due caution and circumspection and at a speed or in a manner so as to endanger or be likely to endanger any person or property, shall be guilty of reckless driving.
(b) Every person convicted of reckless driving shall be punished upon a first conviction by imprisonment for a period of not less than five days nor more than 90 days, or by fine of not less than $25.00 nor more than $500.00, or by both such fine and imprisonment, and on a second or subsequent conviction shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than 10 days nor more than six months, or by a fine of not less than $50.00 nor more than $500.00, or by both such fine and imprisonment, and the court may prohibit the person so convicted from driving a motor vehicle on the public highways of this state for a period not exceeding six months, and the license of the person shall be suspended for such period by the Director of Public Safety pursuant to Section 32-5A-195.
(c) Neither reckless driving nor any other moving violation under this chapter is a lesser included offense under a charge of driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. (Acts 1980, No. 80-434, p. 604, §9-101.) [1]

[edit] Alaska

Alaska Statutes, Title 28 (Motor Vehicles), Chapter 35 (Offenses and Accidents), Section 40. (Reckless Driving)

(a) A person who drives a motor vehicle in the state in a manner that creates a substantial and unjustifiable risk of harm to a person or to property is guilty of reckless driving. A substantial and unjustifiable risk is a risk of such a nature and degree that the conscious disregard of it or a failure to perceive it constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of conduct that a reasonable person would observe in the situation.
(b) A person convicted of reckless driving is guilty of a misdemeanor and is punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000 or by imprisonment for not more than one year or by both.
(c) Lawfully conducted automobile, snowmobile, motorcycle, or other motor vehicle racing or exhibition events are not subject to the provisions of this section. (AS 28.35.040) [2]

[edit] Arizona

28-693. Reckless driving; classification; license; surrender

A. A person who drives a vehicle in reckless disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving.
B. A person convicted of reckless driving is guilty of a class 2 misdemeanor.
C. In addition, the judge may require the surrender to a police officer of any driver license of the convicted person, shall report the conviction to the department and may order the driving privileges of the person to be suspended for a period of not more than ninety days. On receipt of the abstract of conviction and order, the department shall suspend the driving privilege of the person for the period of time ordered by the judge.
D. If a person who is convicted of a violation of this section has been previously convicted of a violation of this section, section 13-1102 or section 13-1103, subsection A, paragraph 1, in the driving of a vehicle, or section 28-708, 28-1381, 28-1382 or 28-1383 within a period of twenty-four months:

1. The person is guilty of a class 1 misdemeanor.
2. The person is not eligible for probation, pardon, suspension of sentence or release on any basis until the person has served not less than twenty days in jail.
3. The judge may require the surrender to a police officer of any driver license of the person and shall immediately forward the abstract of conviction to the department.
4. On receipt of the abstract of conviction, the department shall revoke the driving privilege of the person.

E. The dates of the commission of the offense are the determining factor in applying subsection D of this section. A second or subsequent violation for which a conviction occurs as provided in this section does not include a conviction for an offense arising out of the same series of acts.
F. On pronouncement of a jail sentence under this section, and after the court receives confirmation that the person is employed or is a student, the court may provide in the sentence that if the defendant is employed or is a student the defendant can continue employment or schooling for not more than twelve hours per day nor more than five days per week. The defendant shall spend the remaining days or parts of days in jail until the sentence is served and shall be allowed out of jail only long enough to complete the defendant's actual hours of employment or schooling. [3]

[edit] Arkansas

Arkansas Code, Title 27 (Transportation), Subtitle 4 (Motor Vehicular Traffic), Chapter 50 (Penalties and Enforcement), Subchapter 3 (Offenses and Penalties Generally)

(a) Any person who drives any vehicle in such a manner as to indicate a wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving.

(b)(1)(A) If physical injury to a person results, every person convicted of reckless driving shall be punished upon a first conviction by imprisonment for a period of not less than thirty (30) days nor more than ninety (90) days or by a fine of not less than one hundred dollars ($100) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both such fine and imprisonment.
(B) Otherwise, every person convicted of reckless driving shall be punished upon a first conviction by imprisonment for a period of not less than five (5) days nor more than ninety (90) days or a fine of not less than twenty-five dollars ($25.00) nor more than five hundred dollars ($500), or by both such fine and imprisonment.
(2)(A) For a second or subsequent offense occurring within three (3) years of the first offense, every person convicted of reckless driving shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than thirty (30) days nor more than six (6) months or by a fine of not less than five hundred dollars ($500) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both such fine and imprisonment.
(B) However, if the second or subsequent offense involves physical injury to a person, the person convicted shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than sixty (60) days nor more than one (1) year or by a fine of not less than five hundred dollars ($500) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both such fine and imprisonment. (AC 27-50-30; Acts 1937, No. 300, § 50; Pope's Dig., § 6708; Acts 1955, No. 186, § 1; A.S.A. 1947, § 75-1003; Acts 1987, No. 258, § 1) [4]


clearly texting and driving is covered under the reckless driving laws of several states, this is but one example.
 
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California

California Vehicle Code§ 23103.5: Wet Reckless or Reckless Driving Involving Alcohol (Priorable as a California DUI)

(a) Any person who drives any vehicle upon a highway in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving.
(b) Any person who drives any vehicle in any offstreet parking facility, as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 12500, in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving.
(c) Persons convicted of the offense of reckless driving shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail for not less than five days nor more than 90 days or by a fine of not less than one hundred forty-five dollars ($145) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that fine and imprisonment, except as provided in Section 23104.

Amended Sec. 19, Ch. 739, Stats. 2001. Effective January 1, 2002.

Reckless Driving: Bodily Injury Vehicle Code 23104

(a) Except as provided in subdivision (b), whenever reckless driving of a vehicle proximately causes bodily injury to any person other than the driver, the person driving the vehicle shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for not less than 30 days nor more than six months or by a fine of not less than two hundred twenty dollars ($220) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment.
(b) Any person convicted of reckless driving which proximately causes great bodily injury, as defined in Section 12022.7 of the Penal Code, to any person other than the driver, who previously has been convicted of a violation of Section 23103, 23104, 23109, 23152, or 23153, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison, by imprisonment in the county jail for not less than 30 days nor more than six months or by a fine of not less than two hundred twenty dollars ($220) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000) or by both the fine and imprisonment.

Amended Ch. 216, Stats. 1984. Effective January 1, 1985.
[edit] Florida

Florida Statutes Section 316.192: Reckless Driving [5]

(1)(a) Any person who drives any vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving.
(b) Fleeing a law enforcement officer in a motor vehicle is reckless driving per se.
(2) Except as provided in subsection (3), any person convicted of reckless driving shall be punished:
(a) Upon a first conviction, by imprisonment for a period of not more than 90 days or by fine of not less than $25 nor more than $500, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
(b) On a second or subsequent conviction, by imprisonment for not more than 6 months or by a fine of not less than $50 nor more than $1,000, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
(3) Any person:
(a) Who is in violation of subsection (1);
(b) Who operates a vehicle; and
(c) Who, by reason of such operation, causes:
1. Damage to the property or person of another commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
2. Serious bodily injury to another commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. The term "serious bodily injury" means an injury to another person, which consists of a physical condition that creates a substantial risk of death, serious personal disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.
(4) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, $5 shall be added to a fine imposed pursuant to this section. The clerk shall remit the $5 to the Department of Revenue for deposit in the Emergency Medical Services Trust Fund.
(5) In addition to any other penalty provided under this section, if the court has reasonable cause to believe that the use of alcohol, chemical substances set forth in s. 877.111, or substances controlled under chapter 893 contributed to a violation of this section, the court shall direct the person so convicted to complete a DUI program substance abuse

[edit] Tennessee

Tennessee Code §55-10-205: Reckless driving [6]

(a) Any person who drives a vehicle with willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property commits reckless driving.
(b) A person commits an offense of reckless driving who drives a motorcycle with the front tire raised off the ground in willful and wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property on any public street, highway, alley, parking lot, or driveway, or on the premises of any shopping center, trailer park, apartment house complex, or any other premises which are generally frequented by the public at large. Provided, the offense of reckless driving for driving a motorcycle with the front tire raised off the ground shall not be applicable to persons riding in a parade, at a speed not to exceed thirty (30) miles per hour, if the person is eighteen (18) years of age or older.
(c) A violation of this section is a Class B misdemeanor.

Amended July 1, 2007 [7]
[edit] Virginia

The Code of Virginia has over 20 sections pertaining to reckless driving. It is defined as a Class 1 misdemeanor criminal offense, not a traffic infraction or a speeding ticket. For example, Virginia code explicitly defines the act of speeding 20 mph or more above the posted speed limit (or at any speed greater than 80 mph) as reckless driving.

All drivers convicted of reckless driving in Virginia, including out-of-state and foreign (e.g. Canadian) drivers, will have a permanent criminal record that will be indexed in the NCIC criminal database. The conviction will also be added to a Virginia driving record for 11 years, and six demerit points will be applied.[1]

Commonly applied statutes for reckless driving

§ 46.2-852. Reckless driving; general rule. – Irrespective of the maximum speeds permitted by law, any person who drives a vehicle on any highway recklessly or at a speed or in a manner so as to endanger the life, limb, or property of any person shall be guilty of reckless driving.
§ 46.2-862. Exceeding speed limit. – A person shall be guilty of reckless driving who drives a motor vehicle on the highways in the Commonwealth (i) at a speed of twenty miles per hour or more in excess of the applicable maximum speed limit or (ii) in excess of eighty miles per hour regardless of the applicable maximum speed limit.
§ 46.2-868. Reckless driving; penalties. —

A. Every person convicted of reckless driving under the provisions of this article shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.
B. Every person convicted of reckless driving under the provisions of this article who, when he committed the offense, (i) was driving without a valid operator's license due to a suspension or revocation for a moving violation and, (ii) as the sole and proximate result of his reckless driving, caused the death of another, is guilty of a Class 6 felony.

List of applicable statutes from the Code of Virginia

§ 46.2-852. Reckless driving; general rule.
§ 46.2-853. Driving vehicle which is not under control; faulty brakes.
§ 46.2-854. Passing on or at the crest of a grade or on a curve.
§ 46.2-855. Driving with driver's view obstructed or control impaired.
§ 46.2-856. Passing two vehicles abreast.
§ 46.2-857. Driving two abreast in a single lane.
§ 46.2-858. Passing at a railroad grade crossing.
§ 46.2-859. Passing a stopped school bus; prima facie evidence.
§ 46.2-860. Failing to give proper signals
§ 46.2-861. Driving too fast for highway and traffic conditions.
§ 46.2-862. Exceeding speed limit.
§ 46.2-863. Failure to yield right-of-way.
§ 46.2-864. Reckless driving on parking lots, etc.
§ 46.2-865. Racing; penalty.
§ 46.2-865.1. Injuring another or causing the death of another while engaging in a race; penalties.
§ 46.2-866. Racing; aiders or abettors.
§ 46.2-867. Racing; seizure of motor vehicle.
§ 46.2-868. Reckless driving; penalties.
§ 46.2-869. Improper driving; penalty.
§ 46.2-878.1. Maximum speed limits in highway work zones; penalty.
§ 46.2-829. Approach of law-enforcement or fire-fighting vehicles, rescue vehicles, or ambulances; violation as failure to yield right-of-way
§ 46.2-392. Suspension of license or issuance of a restricted license on conviction of reckless or aggressive driving; probationary conditions required; generally.
§ 46.2-393. Suspension of license on conviction of certain reckless offenses; restricted licenses.
§ 46.2-396. Suspension of license for reckless driving resulting in death of any person.

[edit] Washington State

RCW 46.61.500 Reckless driving - Penalty.

(1) Any person who drives any vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving. Violation of the provisions of this section is a gross misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment of not more than one year and by a fine of not more than five thousand dollars.
(2) The license or permit to drive or any nonresident privilege of any person convicted of reckless driving shall be suspended by the department for not less than thirty days.

RCW 46.61.530 Racing of vehicles on highways - Reckless driving - Exception.

No person or persons may race any motor vehicle or motor vehicles upon any public highway of this state. Any person or persons who wilfully compare or contest relative speeds by operation of one or more motor vehicles shall be guilty of racing, which shall constitute reckless driving under RCW 46.61.500, whether or not such speed is in excess of the maximum speed prescribed by law: PROVIDED HOWEVER, That any comparison or contest of the accuracy with which motor vehicles may be operated in terms of relative speeds not in excess of the posted maximum speed does not constitute racing.

[edit] West Virginia

§17C-5-3. Reckless driving; penalties.

(a) Any person who drives any vehicle upon any street or highway, or upon any residential street, or in any parking area, or upon the ways of any institution of higher education, whether public or private, or upon the ways of any state institution, or upon the property of any county boards of education, or upon any property within the state park and public recreation system established by the Director of the Division of Natural Resources pursuant to section three, article four, chapter twenty of this code in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving.
(b) The provisions of subsection (a) of this section shall not apply to those areas which have been temporarily closed for racing sport events or which may be set aside by the Director of the Division of Natural Resources within the state park and recreation system for exclusive use by motorcycles or other recreational vehicles.
(c) Every person convicted of reckless driving is guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon a first conviction thereof, shall be confined in jail for a period of not less than five days nor more than ninety days, or fined not less than twenty-five dollars nor more than five hundred dollars, or both, and upon conviction of a second or subsequent conviction thereof, shall be confined in jail not less than ten days nor more than six months, or fined not less than fifty dollars nor more than one thousand dollars, or both.
(d) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (c) of this section, any person convicted of a violation of subsection (a) of this section who in doing so proximately causes another to suffer serious bodily injury shall, upon conviction, be confined in jail not less than ten days nor more than six months or fined not less than fifty dollars nor more than one thousand dollars, or both.
(e) For purposes of subsection (d) of this section, "serious bodily injury" means bodily injury which creates a substantial risk of death, which causes serious or prolonged disfigurement, prolonged impairment of health or prolonged loss or impairment of the function of any bodily organ.

continued........
 

USA_1

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/facepalm


It doesn't need to.
Yes it does. Otherwise it is perfectly legal to text while driving and an officer can not pull you over and cite you for it.

Double facepalm.
 

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Yes it does. Otherwise it is perfectly legal to text while driving and an officer can not pull you over and cite you for it.

Double facepalm.



You are wrong...... if you are driving and not paying attention you can be pulled over and cited for careless and reckless driving.


Local widow, sister of man killed by texting driver testify for text-ban bill | The Daily Republic | Mitchell, South Dakota


This guy wants a new law, but the guy involved was correctly assessed a reckless driving summons.


I have about 50 examples. you really want to maintain your position?
 

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You are wrong...... if you are driving and not paying attention you can be pulled over and cited for careless and reckless driving.


Local widow, sister of man killed by texting driver testify for text-ban bill | The Daily Republic | Mitchell, South Dakota


This guy wants a new law, but the guy involved was correctly assessed a reckless driving summons.


I have about 50 examples. you really want to maintain your position?
Wrong. An officer could not pull someone over and cite them for texting before the laws were enacted. Thats why states wrote the texting laws. The idea is to prevent carnage.
 
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Again, you are proven wrong.
They could not in my state. Texting in itself was not cause for the officer to pull them over. Irradic driving while texting is a different story. You are wrong. Again.
 

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They could not in my state. Texting in itself was not cause for the officer to pull them over. Irradic driving while texting is a different story. You are wrong.



Yup, waste of my time, I show you proof, and you deny it's very existence.


what state?
 

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Yup, waste of my time, I show you proof, and you deny it's very existence.


what state?
Thats proof? Only in your world. In Minnesota a driver could not be pulled over for texting only before the law.
As of August 1, text messaging or reading emails on a cell phone while driving is illegal in Minnesota. It's a primary offense, which means that law enforcement can stop vehicles if they see drivers breaking the law. The penalty is a fine up to $300.
It was not a primary offense before. It was legal. Now do you understand? Probably not.
 
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Thats proof? Only in your world. In Minnesota a driver could not be pulled over for texting only before the law.

It was not a primary offense before. It was legal. Now do you understand? Probably not.



Minnesota?


Texting could already be reasonably prosecuted under existing careless driving laws, Hornstein said, but he felt it was important to send a message that this specific practice is dangerous on the road.

Hands on the wheel, thumbs off the phone | StarTribune.com



The honorable and tactful thing to do would be to apologize for your personal attack, especially after such ownage I just laid upon you. Otherwise you would just look silly here. :lamo
 

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Yes it does. Otherwise it is perfectly legal to text while driving and an officer can not pull you over and cite you for it.

Double facepalm.
They can if it causes you to drive recklessly.
 

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Minnesota?





The honorable and tactful thing to do would be to apologize for your personal attack, especially after such ownage I just laid upon you. Otherwise you would just look silly here. :lamo
You are wrong.


Only after an accident or other offense could texting be prosecuted. An officer could not pull someone over just for texting before the law was enacted. Why is that so hard for you to understand? The law made it a primary offense and gave officers the right to pull you over for just texting.
Just as before the seat belt law was enacted. An officer could not pull a driver over for just a seat belt violation.
Does that make it easier for you to understand?

You are embarrassing yourself.
 
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You are wrong.


Only after an accident or other offense could texting be prosecuted. An officer could not pull someone over just for texting before the law was enacted. Why is that so hard for you to understand? The law made it a primary offense and gave officers the right to pull you over for just texting.
Just as before the seat belt law was enacted. An officer could not pull a driver over for just a seat belt violation.


OMG, seriously you are going to continue....


Driving without a seatbelt does not endanger anyone else. texting means you are not paying attention, careless driving, swerving? reckless, both primary offenses to which folks have been pulled over for in your state as my link proved.


Seriously, put a fork in it's done.
 

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OMG, seriously you are going to continue....


Driving without a seatbelt does not endanger anyone else. texting means you are not paying attention, careless driving, swerving? reckless, both primary offenses to which folks have been pulled over for in your state as my link proved.


Seriously, put a fork in it's done.
Doesn't matter. Before texting laws were created officers could not pull you over just for texting. It was legal to text.. Understand?

Changing the channel on the radio is not paying attention either. Could a cop pull you over for that?
 
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Doesn't matter. Before texting laws were created officers could not pull you over just for texting. It was legal to text.. Understand?

please link me to the minn. law. stating texting was legal, also show me anywhere that in MN it was considered legal that would contradict what I posted from a MN official stating they could be pulled over for careless and reckless driving.... your say so, simply doesn't cut it. thanks.
 

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please link me to the minn. law. stating texting was legal, also show me anywhere that in MN it was considered legal that would contradict what I posted from a MN official stating they could be pulled over for careless and reckless driving.... your say so, simply doesn't cut it. thanks.
Of course it was legal. There was no laws on the books stating it wasn't, just like eating, talking, scratching your balls or picking your nose. You do know texting is a relatively new phenomenon, don't you?

In Minnesota an officer could not pull you over for just texting before the law was enacted.
That is why they made the law.
 
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Of course it was legal. There was no laws on the books stating it wasn't, just like eating, talking, scratching your balls or picking your nose. You do know texting is a relatively new phenomenon, don't you?

In Minnesota an officer could not pull you over for just texting before the law was enacted.
That is why they made the law.



You keep saying that inspite of proof I provided otherwise. Can you back up your claim with any links or are you just making it up?
 
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