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Rexburg Outlaws Texting While Driving

If you have a tendency to text and drive, you might want to get rid of the bad habit before paying a hefty fine, or worse, causing an accident.

Last night the Rexburg City Council passed a new ordinance making it illegal to text and drive, as well as texting while crossing the street.

The City Council voted in favor of the ordinance 4-2. There are mixed feelings over the new law, but many students said they believe it’s a good idea.

Whether you’re on the street walking or driving, texting is illegal, and City Council President Chris Mann said the goal is to save lives.

“We need to make sure there is a responsible expectation of safety in Rexburg,” Mann said.

While she is concerned about safety, City Council member Donna Benfield voted against the measure.

“The no texting while driving, I agree with; but the texting for pedestrians, I feel like that is going a bit too far,? Benfield said. ?I think they can monitor that on their own, but I really don’t want to create a law we can’t enforce.”

While not being able to text and cross the road may seem restrictive, many students say they understand it will make them safe as they walk to and from school.

“I think it’s a good rule so we don’t get hit by cars,? said BYU-Idaho student Logan Limb.

“I totally agree; I have a lot of friends that when they text, they cannot think,? said BYU-Idaho student Holli Loar. ?It’s great because, especially with a lot students, I think it would do a lot of good.”

But that doesn’t mean some of them won’t have to change their habits.

“That would be hard for me because I’m addicted to texting,? said Catherine Hecht. ?But I think it’s a legit rule. I may have to change some habits, but it’s a good thing.”

If you get caught, it’s a hefty price. Officers can cite a first time offender $50, and if you’re caught again, it’s $150.

Rexburg isn’t the only Idaho city passing laws against texting while driving. Twin Falls and Meridian have also passed similar city ordinances, and Blackfoot is considering a similar ordinance.

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