The toll of car crash deaths and injuries associated with texting and cell phoning while driving is gaining increasing media attention nationally and locally.

The conclusions are inescapable, distracted driving has to stop. The best methods for accomplishing this however, are more elusive.

The District of Columbia makes it comparatively easy by prohibiting drivers from cell phone use. If an officer sees you driving and using a cell phone, you in theory get a ticket. I say in theory because a number of Clark and Steinhorn's clients have been struck by texting drivers in the District without any citation being issued.

One can appreciate that the Metropolitan Police have many graver crimes to deal with but heck if you stop to investigate a collision and the at-fault party acknowledges texting at the time of the collision, it seems like a ticket should be forthcoming.

Maryland has enacted new laws effective this week to stem texting while driving but of course it has no effect on people reading texts while driving. It also does not apply to use of GPS devices which are at least as distracting as cell phones.

And how do you prove the underlying traffic offense of texting while driving absent an admission by the driver that they are guilty? Will the prosecutors have to subpoena cell phone records? The potential problems of proof may tend to emasculate the law.

While the public as a whole is appalled by the distracted driving phenomenon, it seems that individually drivers believe it is safe for them to do so, just not everybody else.
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