Text messaging likened to other addictions

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ULM Hawkeye

As of August 15, new Louisiana registration [ACT 203], allows law enforcement officers to initiate a traffic stop on any person who is text messaging while driving. The law also applies to any person who uses a cell phone, PDA, laptop, pager or any other similar communication devices under the age of 18. To use these devices while driving is now considered a primary offense by the state of Louisiana.

According to Sgt. James Anderson, Louisiana State Police Public Information Officer, the fines for breaking this new law are not cheap. The first offense for texting while driving or for someone under the age of 18 using a cell phone or communication device while driving can be up to $175. For two or more offenses, the fine can be up to $500. Louisiana State Police also state that if an accident occurs while any of these laws are being broken, the fines will double.

When asked her opinion on the new Louisiana State Law, Meredith Williams, a sophomore Pre-Pharmacy major at ULM, responds, “Texting and driving can be very dangerous so I think this new law will make the highways a safer place to drive”. Williams also mentioned she feels that it will still be tempting to text and drive. “Texting just takes over my life. It’s the new Facebook.”

Teenagers are becoming very attached to their cell phones and to the need of always having someone to text. Experts are saying teenagers’ desires for texting all the time can be as serous as being addicted to drugs.

Studies have recently shown that the same brain areas are stimulated when texting and using heroin, according to www.cbs.com. Some texting addiction warnings are: losing track of time because of steady texting, neglecting eating and sleeping due to excessive texting, having a desire for more and more, and even lying to others or ignoring them over texting.  According to Dr. Gary Small, a psychiatrist, texting “clearly fits the criteria of an addiction”.