Learner's permit brings concerns of son texting and driving

  • Rusty Walters, 24, of Towson, uses his Iphone for many applications, including texting and twittering while driving to and from his job in Owings Mills, before the state ban went into effect.
Rusty Walters, 24, of Towson, uses his Iphone for many applications,… (Amy Davis )
May 22, 2012|By Liz Atwood | Special to The Baltimore Sun

A couple of weeks ago, we reached a milestone in my house. My older son got his learner’s permit. It’s been nerve-wracking riding with him as he learns to negotiate traffic circles, four-way stops and merge lanes.

But as scary as it seems riding with him, I’m more worried about the day when he drives without me. According to a new survey commissioned by AT&T, 43 percent of teens admit to texting while driving and 75 percent say their friends do it all the time. With prom and graduation season upon us, the phone company has launched a campaign, It Can Wait, to educate kids about the dangers of texting while driving. Of course it's against the law in Maryland, but I’m sure teens are still doing it. Talking on a hand-held cell phone while driving is illegal, too, but I see people do it all the time.

Since my son started to drive, I’ve been more aware of my job as a role model. When he rolled through a stop sign in the neighborhood the other day and I reprimanded him, he said he sees me roll through that same stop sign all the time.

I never text and drive. I don’t call and drive. But I admit to picking up the phone when someone is calling me. It’s a habit I’ve got to break. As AT&T says, It Can Wait.

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