DENVER (CBS4)– Some state lawmakers are trying to keep teenage drivers from being distracted while behind the wheel.

The Colorado Department of Transportation says that distracted drivers cause an average of 40 crashes a day in Colorado.

Ben Wieland (credit: CBS)

Ben Wieland is 15 years old. When he thinks about trading in his driver’s permit for a license, he thinks, “Independence and just the freedom to drive wherever I want.”

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“The environment that he is learning in is so different than the environment in which you and I learned to drive. The element of distracted driving changes everything,” said Ben’s dad and CBS4 News Director Tim Wieland.

Rep. Mike Foote, a Democrat representing Lafayette, is sponsoring a bill aimed at halting texting while driving.

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“The technology exists to disrupt that within the car,” said Foote, “but carriers aren’t allowing it.”

The bill would require carriers to disable a phone’s texting function while inside a vehicle.

CBS4 Political Specialist Shaun Boyd interviews Rep. Mike Foote (D) Lafayette (credit: CBS)

“The bottom line is just asking them to enable this technology to be used, not that anyone has to use it,” said Foote.

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“I don’t understand what we’re doing here except putting more mandates on private businesses,” said Rep. Patrick Neville, a Republican representing Centennial.

Rep. Patrick Neville (R) Centennial (credit: CBS)

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