Colorado school says texting and driving is dangerous, proves point using Wii

| May 18, 2009

Everyone knows that talking on a phone while driving is dangerous. But texting while driving? That's just insane. Case in point: A recent incident involved a Boston trolley driver who, distracted by text messaging on his cell phone, caused a horrendous train accident on May 8. The accident injured 50 people and cost 9.6 million dollars in damages.

Now it looks like everyday people have stopped complaining about the behavior and finally decided to do something about it. And this, I've got to say, is probably one of the most creative and effective ways to get the message across.

Eagle Valley's Vail Christian High School has devised an educational exercise that uses a Nintendo Wii loaded with Mario Kart as a driving simulator.

Nintendo wii text driving test

Students have one hand on the wheel and another on a cell phone while trying to navigate the game's driving course. Sure, there are no shells thrown onto the road in real life or warp thresholds that auto accelerate cars through space, but the kids still got the point.  

For now, only 5 states ? California, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York and Washington, as well as the District of Columbia ? outlaw all handheld cell phone use, though 11 states, plus D.C., have banned text-messaging behind the wheel.

After I finished reading the item on Vail Christian High School, another text-themed story popped into my RSS feed. A new trend for classical music concerts is to allow audiences to vote for selections at the symphony via text message. So now, concert-goers are actually encouraged to turn on their cell phones at performances. Nice.  

Judicious (and clever) use of text messaging = good
Bone-headed, disaster-prone texting = bad (and hopefully illegal everywhere soon)

[9News via Gizmodo; The New York Times]