We all know we shouldn’t text while driving. According to the National Safety Council, it’s the cause of 25 percent of all car accidents. And according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, it's six times more dangerous than drinking and driving.
And yet, many of us do it. Psychology Today reports that up to 97 percent of teens text while driving, and that 77 percent of teens have witnessed their parents texting while driving.
What would it take for us to change our behavior?
The most obvious answer might be to pass laws against texting while driving. And 39 states, as well as Washington D.C., have. This Friday, State Senator Mark Montigny of Massachusetts will try to take the laws even further, when he re-files his bill with the legislature calling for a complete ban on all cell phone use in cars – including hands-free use.
But in the meantime: How do you enforce the existing laws? Can you really prove that a driver is texting — as opposed to looking at a map or changing the song on their device when you pull him or her over?
Lt. Victor Flaherty of the West Bridgewater Police works to enforce the Massachusetts anti-texting laws that went into effect in 2010.