Survey: 80% Of Teen Drivers For Texting Ban

A veteran driving instructor says a vast majority of new teenage drivers are FOR laws that ban cell phone talking and texting behind the wheel. That surprises me. You would think the young text-happy, tech-savvy generation would fight for the use of their cell phones.

As a follow-up to “Distracted Driving Test: ‘I Didn’t See A Clown'”, I talked to Jerry Walters, who trains young drivers at Jerry’s Driving School in Tulsa. He has surveyed three years worth of classes of 15 1/2 and 16 year old drivers. Here’s one of the questions he asks them:

“I believe that teen drivers should not be allowed to use cell phones for texting or talking while driving.”

He shared the results with me. Walters says more than 80% of the hundreds of teenage driving students that have gone through his classes support bans on using cell phones while driving. Here’s a portion of my conversation with Walters:

Walters: “They’re saying no cell phones. Do not use a cell phone in a car.”
Me: “Are you surprised by that?”
Walters: “I was surprised.”
Me: “What does this say that kids, young drivers, are saying there needs to be a law against it?”
Walters: “I think they want some type of persuasion from someone else besides their parents.”

In other words, young people are looking for boundaries, whether it be drugs, sex or yes, even texting.  My three teenage boys don’t want to hear from good ol’ dad not to do it…. text and drive I mean.  But if there’s a law against texting and driving, they’ll obey it.  And, good ol’ dad is off the hook.  Perfect.

I also talked to two smart teenagers who are members of “Generation tXt”, an effort to encourage Tulsa teens to not text and drive.  These brand new drivers are excited about driving, and by educating them before they get behind the wheel of a car, they may be less likely to text while driving.

Jerry Walters says teenagers watch the news and see the dangers of  distracted driving.  They may be young, but not dumb.  Well, some are.  They just need an excuse not to do it… text and drive I mean.

Here are the videos:

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