Ind. Criminal Justice Institute To Raise Awareness of Texting and Driving

The Indiana Criminal Justice Institute announced Wednesday that it will be partnering with Attorney General Greg Zoeller and AT&T in an effort to raise awareness about the dangers of texting while driving. The Indiana General Assembly passed House Enrolled Act 1129 in 2011, making illegal the practice of texting while driving.

Indiana Criminal Justice Institute Traffic Safety Division Director Ryan Klitzsch says this important piece of legislation has already saved lives and is an important step in efforts to ensure the safety of all Hoosier motorists.

A series of five events will take place around the state to educate teen drivers about the dangers of texting while driving. Each event will offer students the opportunity to use a driving simulator to learn firsthand the consequences of distracted driving.

Events will be held in the several cities throughout Indiana, including Indianapolis on Aug. 23, Muncie on Sept. 14, West Lafayette on Sept. 18, Terre Haute on Sept. 25, and South Bend on Oct. 2.

A recently survey by AT&T found that 75 percent of teens say texting while driving is “common” among their friends, and 77 percent report seeing their parents text while driving.

Fines for Hoosiers began on July 1, 2011, for anyone caught texting while driving. Violators are liable for fines of $25 for the first offense and $50 for each subsequent offense.