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Student calls for ban on texting while driving

Her essay further explained the scene in detail.

"I was driving in my car one day, and I'm stopped at a four-way stop sign. I look over a see this 20-something-year-old man texting on his phone, while he is driving! He continued through the stop sign and was an inch away from hitting this cat running across the street. He slammed his brakes and, thankfully, the cat ran quickly enough," she wrote.

Paolucci continued that she thought there already was a ban on texting while driving in the state but was dismayed to learn that nothing had yet been passed in the Legislature.

"Texting while driving is a lot more dangerous then just almost hitting a cat," she wrote. "You can seriously hurt or kill anyone, or anything, while texting and driving."

Paolucci researched the restrictions of texting while driving, but came up with few legal offenses.

"I looked up some information about this, and read that because texting while driving is a only secondary violation, cops or state troopers can't stop drivers if they see it happening. It only could mean drivers end up with two tickets instead of just one. I still feel like that is not enough. I tested the theory," she said.

Paolucci timed herself texting and reading a text message -- not behind the wheel. She found that typing a quick message on her Blackberry, a mobile telephone/messaging device with a full keyboard, took 24 seconds.

"In that 24 seconds, if I were driving, so much could have happened," she said. "It only takes that split second for a accident to happen."

Next, Paolucci challenged the laws that currently exist in New York against making calls on cell phones, questioning why they do not include text messaging.

"Talking on your cell phone is definitely not as distracting as texting on your cell phone. Now that [Bluetooth devices] and [other] hands-free devices are available, I think that's helping a lot. Yet, there still hasn't been a lot done about texting in the state of New York. Some states have banned it, but not all. ... I should feel like I only need to worry about myself when driving, yet I'm worrying about everyone else around me instead.""

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