Kentucky drivers face new penalties for texting - News, Weather & Sports

Kentucky drivers face new penalties for texting

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Wil Craig Wil Craig
The car Craig was a passenger when the texting while driving accident happened. The car Craig was a passenger when the texting while driving accident happened.
Gov. Steve Beshear Gov. Steve Beshear

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Motorists in Kentucky could lose their licenses for repeated offenses of the state's law against texting while driving. Right now, the penalty for it is just a fine. Soon, that's going to change.

Gov. Steve Beshear announced a change Wednesday under which the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet will assess penalty points against the licenses of drivers convicted of texting behind the wheel. 

We first introduced you to Wil Craig in February 2011. His story isn't a pretty one,  but it's one that he hopes you will take the time to listen to and learn from.

"It was January 5, 2008," said Craig. "I was 17 years old and just enlisted in the National Guard. I wanted to be a hero, I wanted to save a life. I was a passenger and I collided with a tree on my right temple. I was declared dead on the scene three times."

Craig was in the passenger seat. A good friend of his was driving. Craig says she told him she could multi task.

"She was texting, ‘Where r u at,'" said Craig. "She tried to hit the break, missed, hit the gas. She hydroplaned at 105 miles an hour."

No text is worth permanent brain damage, no text is worth what Craig went through.

"I used to be able to drive, I used to be able to go for walks, I used to be able to run around town by myself," said Craig.

Gov. Beshear announced Wednesday that if you are caught texting and driving, it will cost you points on your driver's license. Each violation would mean the loss of three points.

"When you get to 12 points you lose your license for awhile," said Beshear. "Hopefully that will get more people's attention."

Attention is key, especially when you start to hear the statistics. Some 53,600 crashes in Kentucky in 2012 were attributed to driver distraction, a category that includes cell phone use.

The new penalty could go into effect in the next couple of months. Beshear admits that it will be a tough regulation to enforce.    

As for Wil Craig, he's actually in Los Angeles where a documentary on the dangers of texting and driving is being presented.

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