Save Our Teen Drivers

Advocating for driver's education changes. Educating the public on the problem. Finding a solution that saves lives.

US and New York look at text messaging bans, but do they work?

Posted by lapearce on July 29, 2009

Car and Driver found texting to be more dangerous than drunk driving

Car and Driver found texting to be more dangerous than drunk driving

Earlier this week The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute released a study showing that texting makes drivers 23 times more likely to be involved in a crash. This study adds to the volume of information now available about texting. Other research has found that texting reduces reaction time 35 percent, and steering ability by 95 percent. It has also been said that texting while driving may be more dangerous than drinking while driving. Everyone knows it is dangerous, but people still text while they drive. Some lawmakers are trying to stop them, but will the laws make a difference?

Our good friend Charles Shumer or New York, who is currently trying to create a nation wide driver’s ed program, is backing a bill that would ban text messaging nationwide that was introduced today. The law would require states to ban text messaging or risk losing 25 percent of its highway funding.

The Legislature in Shumer’s home state New York passed its own texting ban this week as well, but it is only a secondary offense. If it becomes law, drivers in New York can only receive a texting ticket if they are pulled over for braking another law as well, probably failure to maintain a lane, or after they hit someone. But if Shumer thinks that texting bans are so important, why is his own state failing to make a texting ban a priority? More importantly: will these bans actually stop people from texting behind the wheel?

The Governor’s Highway Safety Association (GHSA) does not yet support bans on text messaging because of the difficulty of enforcing them. People also still use their phones in states where it is illegal to do so. California is seeing a lack of compliance to its cell phone laws a year after motorists were told to hang up and drive.

Will texting bans just deture people from finding better solutions to the problem because they will think it has been solved? Or is there any solution that will stop people from using their phone while they drive short of devices that render them useless inside cars, such as Zoomsafer. People like the conveinence of a cell phone and let me tell you from personal experience: they call it a Crackberry for a reason.  For now, I am sure, law or no law,  people will keep texting, tweeting, emailing, facebooking and good olf fashion chatting on the phone while they drive.

I would like to hear your thoughts, but please, pull over first.

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One Response to “US and New York look at text messaging bans, but do they work?”

  1. safedriver said

    Well written Lauren! I’m with you!

    http://safedriver.wordpress.com

    http://safedriving.wordpress.com/2009/07/13/are-you-distracted/

    Scott

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