Need text therapy? / Some drivers will have trouble [telecom]

Need text therapy? Some drivers will have trouble training antsy thumbs to be idle

By Linda Matchan, Globe Staff | August 15, 2010

Ian Lathrop has given a lot of thought to how he will comply with the state law banning texting while driving, which takes effect Oct. 1.

"I won't lie,'' confessed Lathrop, 24, who lives in Somerville. "I've gotten texts and responded to them.''

To kick the habit, he has tried setting the ringer of his smartphone to vibrate or silent. He has turned the phone upside down in the cupholder so the message light is obscured. He has thought about putting it in the glove box or on the floor.

But though he has stopped texting, for the most part, while driving, he still finds himself checking his messages at stoplights. "If you hear your phone, you look at it; that's just the way we're programmed,'' said Lathrop, a gradu ate student at Emerson College. "I think it's just going to have to be a cold turkey situation.''

Time is ticking away for habitual texters. It will not be long before drivers caught writing or reading a text message - or e-mailing or searching the Internet - can be fined $100, even if they do it at a stoplight. Talking on a cellphone while driving will still be legal for drivers over 18, but those under 18 can be cited for using a cellphone or mobile electronic device and slapped with a $100 fine and a 60-day license suspension.

Interviews with Boston-area texters suggest that the deadline is not far from the minds of many Massachusetts drivers, and they are already trying, with mixed results, to start weaning themselves from texting in the car.


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Monty Solomon
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.......... Is it time that schools taught methods to help people ignore technology?

The Pavlovian response so many have a ringing/chirping phone seems to indicate that too many of us are slaves to these things and need urgent "deprogramming" to rectify the situation.

-- Regards, David.

David Clayton Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Knowledge is a measure of how many answers you have, intelligence is a measure of how many questions you have.

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