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No cellphones before 21? Proposed law sparks distracted driving conversation

Posted at 7:25 PM, Jan 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-21 11:27:48-05

Most people have cellphones, but how dangerous are they?

A senator in Vermont has proposed a bill to ban cellphones to anyone under 21, saying they're as dangerous as guns.

He's trying to draw attention to gun regulation in Vermont, but people in Central Texas agree cellphones are dangerous, especially behind the wheel of a car.

The Texas Department of Transportation says on the road, cellphones are a huge problem, with distracted driving taking at least one life every day on Texas roads for the last 19 years.

"A lot of my friends text and drive. I myself am guilty of it sometimes," said Baylor student Rachel Badger. "I really try not to. I try to text and drive when I'm at a stoplight."

Her mother, Suzanne Badger, knows first hand the harm taking your eyes off the road can cause.

"This generation has such a fear of missing out, but the real fear should be not making it to her destination," said Suzanne.

Back in Suzanne's hometown in the San Antonio area, a distracted driver crashed into a bus of senior citizens. Of the 13 people, only one survived.

According to TxDOT's latest report, in 2018, there were 95,572 crashes caused by distracted driving, resulting in 394 deaths and 2,340 serious injuries.

"It is 100% preventable. One life lost to a distracted driver is one too many," said Suzanne.

That's what inspired her to start working for an app called "Safe 2 Save".

The app was created by a woman in College Station who wanted to find a way to incentivize people to put their phones down when they're behind the wheel.

Safe 2 Save monitors your phone usage while your driving. The farther you travel without using your phone, the more points you get that you can then redeem for discounts at stores and restaurants.

"The benefits of this is we're just rewarding you for something that you should be doing anyways," said Suzanne.

The app is available throughout Central Texas, and Suzanne motivates everyone, including her daughter to save lives and save money.

"Just to better the community, especially with how bad Waco traffic is right now with the construction, you have to think about other people's lives, not just your own," said Rachel.

In order to prevent yourself from being distracted while driving, put your phone on silent and turn off your notifications.

25 News wants people to stay safe on the road, so if you download the Safe 2 Save app, use the code "25News" to receive 800 bonus points.