Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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January 9, 2013

WVU to study effect of cell phone laws on crashes

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia University is getting $182,000 to study whether laws limiting or banning cell phone use while driving are effective.

The researchers will look at laws on texting and talking, how they're enforced, and accident rates among drivers under 25.

Funding comes from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It was announced Wednesday by U.S. Sens. Joe Manchin and Jay Rockefeller.

Rockefeller says he hopes the research will produce useable results that could help make the nation's highways safer.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says nearly 3,100 people died in distracted-driving crashes in 2010, while another 416,000 were injured.

It says 40 percent of teens say they've been in a car with someone using a cell phone in a way that endangered others.

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