Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear to make public safety announcement

FRANKFORT, Ky. - Highway safety officials and a mother of a texting-while-driving crash victim will join Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear to make a public safety announcement Wednesday morning.

Beshear is expected to announce a new penalty in Kentucky for citizen’s texting while they drive a vehicle.

More than two years after the state banned texting while driving and cellphone use for drivers under 18, police have issued fewer than 1,000 citations.

According to data obtained by the Lexington Herald-Leader, in 26 of Kentucky's 120 counties there have been no citations issued at all.

Police say it's difficult to tell whether someone is texting or doing something else, such as looking at a digital map. They also say discerning a 17-year-old from an 18-year-old is nearly impossible, making it tough to enforce the law banning cellphone use by younger drivers.

Kentucky's problems enforcing the texting ban are common in other states as well. Increasingly, states are banning all hand-held communication devices while driving, which police say is easier to enforce.

The announcement is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. in Louisville.

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