The Iowa teenager who won a national “texting” competition is urging Iowa lawmakers to ban text messaging while driving. Kate Moore, a 16-year-old from Des Moines, says even though she sometimes sends 400 text messages a day, she never texts while driving.
“Us teenagers are in a position where we’re already vulnerable enough while we’re behind the wheel,” Moore says. “So knowing the hot gossip around school that your best friend just texted you, can wait. Any text message can wait.”
Moore won the U.S. National Texting Championship in June. Despite her skill at texting and her love of the process, she wants Iowa to join the 19 other states that have banned texting while driving. Moore admits her texting-messaging peers probably disagree.
“You’re going to have a lot of teenagers who are going to say, ‘I’m at a red light. I’ll only be five seconds,'” Moore says. “But, I mean, red lights aren’t predictable and it can wait. It definitely can wait.”
Moore testified today at the statehouse before a House subcommittee that’s considering a bill that would impose penalities on drivers caught texting in a moving vehicle.
“There’s no rational reason to text and take away your concentration from the road,” Moore told lawmakers. “For the quick second that you take to read a text message could be the quick second that you swerve out of your lane or side-swipe another car or, even worse, hit somebody head-on.”
When Moore won the LG National Texting Championship last summer, she sent an average of 14,000 text messages per month. She won the competition despite a round in which she had to text while blindfolded and another round in which she had to text while being “badgered” by three other competitors.