SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - Massachusetts State Police have a plan that they hope will put a stop to texting while driving.
It's estimated that nearly one out of five traffic accidents are the result of distracted driving; a habit that has become commonplace.
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Marek Ross of Holyoke admits to texting and driving, but in moderation. "The impulse to keep in touch with my friends and family; I want to keep in touch with them at the present time. That's the impulse where I want to keep in touch with them," Ross said.
Human service professional Peter Vangsness calls that Impulse a form of addiction. It forces people who text and drive to rationalize away the obvious danger from taking their eyes off the road.
"We're all addicted to the things we know, and when we want to know it. The information doesn't have to be serious or of consequence. As people, human beings, we just enjoy communicating, we just enjoy getting a response," Vangsness said.
To be a passenger in a car with a texting driver, can make you feel unsafe.
"It's kind of scary, because they're not paying attention to the road," Nahomy Gonzalez of Springfield said.
"You begin to panic and you never know what's going to happen. Anything can happen in a flash. A few seconds on the road and your whole life can change."
Stepped-up state police enforcement, with help from a $275,000 federal grant, begins later this month in eastern Massachusetts. There is no word yet when the more vigorous attack on texting and driving will begin here in western Massachusetts.