Posted: Jun 23, 2010 5:49 PM by Rachel Frost
Updated: Jun 23, 2010 6:37 PM
A group of teenagers from across Louisiana got behind the wheel of a texting and driving simulator to test their skills today in Dodson Auditorium at Louisiana State University.
The simulation taught the teens the dangers of sending messages while on the road. For Austin Berthelot, the virtual drive felt all too real-- his friend was killed while texting and driving.
"Swerved over, went across the middle lane, head-on into a truck, and she died. Just saying, 'Hey, what are you doing? or, 'Yes' and 'No' could end your life that quick," said Berthelot.
It's an epidemic that has made our roadways a dangerous place to drive. A state law passed last week that could change that. When the law takes effect August 15th, an officer can pull you over if you are suspected of sending a message while behind the wheel.
"When we see you swerving all over the place, there's got to be a reason. You're either impaired, or you're texting, or you're distracted. Somehow, we're going to get you off the roadway. You're going to get a ticket," said Louisiana State Police trooper Russell Graham.
A ticket for texting while driving can cost you nearly $200 for the first offense and up to $500 for a repeat offense.