If a driver is looking at his phone while texting he is not looking at what's happening on the road ahead. If young people know of the dangers of texting while driving but still carry on texting then there need to be harsh penalties that will discourage them from taking these risks.
If texting while driving were only a danger to the person doing it, I'd be the first to say that it should not be regulated. However, texting while driving puts many others at risk. It puts your passengers, others using the roadway, and even pedestrians at risk of injury. Personal and public property can be damaged by accidents. Lastly, insurance companies incur costs for the personal and property damage. This leads to higher policy prices for everyone.
Yes, I strongly believe that texting and driving should have criminal penalties. The reason that driving after consuming alcohol is a criminal penalty is that it impairs ones judgment and ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. Texting while driving has that same impact so it should have similar consequences. I am appalled at the driving I have witnessed by people that were texting.
I'm a bit unsure about how much I agree that teen drivers need criminal penalties for texting while they drive, especially if they end up hurting or killing another person. On one hand, they are teenagers and do not belong in the criminal justice system as that will ruin their lives. On the other hand, they need to face the consequences for hurting or killing someone. I think this issue needs more scrutiny.
Hypothetically speaking: You are driving to work when you get a call from your mother, your brother (sister,cat,dog,whatever), just got hit by a car! So you rush home calling your dad to tell him. Then when you get home your mom is heart broken but you and your dad are there so she is comforted.
None of that would have happened if you weren't allowed to use your phone while driving. And this is a very real situation.You would have gone to work clueless, along with your dad and what would the situation be when you get home? Awful. All because your mother couldn't call you right then.