It’s about time texting/driving law enforced

History has shown us, for example through Prohibition and a failed national speed limit of 55 mph, that it is easier to pass a law than to enforce one.

Take a quick drive around Minot and you’ll find out what many people think of the texting/driving law.

Not much.

Law enforcement has its hands full, but officers are about to ramp up the issuing of citations.

Good. Better than good. It’s time that the offenders have the reasons for the law explained to them – in court if necessary.

In case you missed the news release, starting Tuesday and lasting through September, “law enforcement agencies in North Dakota including in the local area will participate in the statewide U Drive. U Text. U Pay. campaign to make roads safer by enforcing the ban on texting while driving. Texting drivers are six times more likely to crash than a drunk driver.

“Composing, reading or sending any electronic message or using a communications device to access the internet while driving is illegal and punishable with a fine of $100. The law applies to any driver of a vehicle in a traffic lane, even while stopped at a red light or in a construction zone.

“Drivers under the age of 18 are prohibited from using any electronic communications device, including cell phone. For 14- and 15-year-olds, the law carries a $20 fine and 4 points on a driver’s record. For 16-and 17-year-olds, the law carries a $20 fine and no points on the driver’s record.”

To text while driving is to be extremely careless with human life. Still, we can’t help but chuckle at the silly drivers, some of them our friends and neighbors, who try to disguise what they are doing. They think they are being so discreet.

Eyes will flash down the street for just a blink of the eye before they return to the driver’s lap – busted.

Two hands on the wheel, then one, and none – guilty.

It takes only a short drive to the grocery store or the post office to clearly see a half-dozen or more drivers engrossed in texting.

We would wish Minot police good hunting, but this frankly will be more like shooting fish in a barrel.

The number of citations written by the end of September will tell us just how seriously law enforcement takes this issue.

We look forward to publishing that news release as well.