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Possible Federal Texting Ban

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On: Fri, Aug 14, 2009 at 3:49PM | By: John Welch

Possible Federal Texting Ban

Even though the spread of Big Brother-ism is getting a little troublesome (British laws FRIGHTEN me), it's about time we tackle the issue of 'Texting While Driving.' This practice has raised my blood pressure in traffic more than once.

Teenage/soccer mom driver of enormous SUV: "Gosh, I better make sure I'm not going to miss something important in the next few milliseconds; what’s going on with my phone here?" Driver of slow, small '98 Subaru Legacy: "YOU'VE GOT A GREEEEENNNN LIGHT!!!"

Yeah, the above 'skit' is not pleasant. Too bad it isn't a skit, but a daily occurrence in my and many other folk's lives. I don't mean to pick on teenagers and soccer moms, because we ALL do it: cops, lawyers, teachers, garbage men, everyone! This being the case, Democrats within our federal government are considering introducing legislation that may result in states banning texting behind the wheel outright, or face cuts in highway funding.

"When drivers have their eyes on their cell phones instead of the road, the results can be dangerous and even deadly," said Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., who unveiled the legislation Wednesday with Democrats Robert Menendez of New Jersey, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, and Kay Hagan of North Carolina. Fourteen states and the District of Columbia have passed laws making texting while driving illegal.

And here is where the situation gets a little sticky. Will this law be difficult to enforce? Will states which do not immediately ratify the law be able to do so later, thus recovering lost tax money ear-marked for highway use? "Highway safety laws are only effective if they can be enforced and if the public believes they will be ticketed for not complying. To date, that has not been the case with many cell phone restrictions," said Vernon Betkey, the Highway Safety Association's chairman. Mr. Betkey could not possibly have been referring to central Florida, where our eagle-eyed sheriffs are spotting and ticketing cell-users left and right.

The transportation secretary would be required to issue guidelines within six months of the measure becoming law, and states then would have two years to approve the bans on texting and driving. States could recover highway funds by passing the legislation following the two-year period.

There is other information regarding this issue, such as the effect texting is having on the long-haul trucking industry. Follow the source link for the entire story.

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090729/ap_on_go_co/us_driving_texting

Also, a Car and Driver article which attempts to determine if text-driving is more dangerous the drunk-driving . . . interesting results:http://www.caranddriver.com/features/09q2/texting_while_driving_how_dangerous_is_it_-feature


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