The Whitehall Ledger - Serving Southern Jefferson County in the Great State of Montana

By Jack H. Smith
Ledger Publisher 

EDITORIAL: Montana needs to pass cell phone law


December 20, 2017

It’s time for elected officials in Montana to stand up for the safety of residents and pass a law that bans the use of cell phones while driving.

How this law has not been passed yet is baffling, and something needs to be done as soon as possible.

A lot of people may think this is not a huge issue, but it really is paramount to the safety of residents across the state. Distracted driving is something that can be seen on a daily basis and the consequences are severe. One text, selfie, or post to a social media site can be just enough to cause a fatal accident.

The other day I was going to Manhattan to watch a basketball game and the car in front of me was all over the road. When I went to pass I took a brief look at the driver and they had their phone on the steering wheel and were staring at it, not paying any attention to the road. Not only were they putting their own life in danger, but they were also putting myself and everyone else on the road in peril.

The state does have a law that allows law enforcement to look a cell data after an accident to determine if usage may have been the cause, but this is not enough.

I think that knowing just how dangerous this is should be a deterrent to those who risk an accident, but it is not.

I’m thinking a nice $500 fine would change the mind of many who decide to do this each and every time they are in a vehicle.

Whatever it is on the phone – it can wait. Our lawmakers however, shouldn’t wait anymore. It’s time to get this law passed.



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