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BOISE -- Texting while driving is an issue that's been getting a lot of attention lately, both nationally and in the Treasure Valley.

Meridian's Liz and Gus Catherman pushed for a ban on texting while driving Tuesday during the 2010 Distracted Driving Summit in Washington, D.C.

Their 18-year-old daughter Kassy Kerfoot died in a texting while driving related crash last December.

Currently, 30 states and the District of Columbia ban texting while driving, but Idaho isn't one of those.

Reckless or inattentive driving because of texting or any reason is against the law in Idaho, but merely texting while driving is not and that's not because of a lack of trying by some Idaho lawmakers.

You realize just how dangerous it is. We realized that we needed to do something in Idaho, said Sen. John McGee, R-Caldwell.

McGee sponsored a bill in the 2010 legislative session that would have banned texting while driving in Idaho.

A text message ban while driving passed the Senate twice, with only five and then four no votes. It wasn't as well received in the House. So as a result it is not the law of the land right now, said McGee.

Rep. Raul Labrador helped lead the charge against the bill. The Eagle Republican says the dangerous driving texting causes is already illegal.

If you're texting and your car is swerving, it's called inattentive driving. And if you're swerving really hard, it's called reckless driving, said Labrador. Whatever thing you're doing that you're not paying attention to the road - that is already a crime.

It's a very specific act that's taking place and it's become so egregious and so prevalent that I think you really do have to do something. If nothing else, just to send a signal, said McGee.

Labrador said a texting ban would be hard to enforce.

We talked to several law enforcement agencies and people in law enforcement who believe that it would be hard to tell if somebody was texting or actually on their cell phone making a call, said Labrador.

However, McGee believes he has clarified language in the bill and there will be a new law on the books in 2011.

I'm confident that we will pass something next year, said McGee.

While McGee is confident there will soon be a state law to ban texting while driving, there is a push in Congress to implement a nationwide ban.

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