No Mre Txting N Drvng?

No Mre Txting N Drvng?


After the release of a study that showed somebody is 23 times more likely to get into an accident, Dems in Congress are working on legislation that would make it illegal across the country.

From the AP:

WASHINGTON — States would be required to ban driving while texting or face the loss of highway funds under legislation being pushed by a group of Democratic senators.

Aimed at reducing driver distraction and highway deaths and injuries, the proposal follows a series of studies showing the dangers of drivers taking their eyes off the road to operate the handheld electronic devices.

Fourteen states and the District of Columbia have passed laws making texting while driving illegal.

“The federal government ought to pass a law banning this dangerous and growing practice to protect the millions of Americans on our nation’s roads. It is a matter of public safety,” said Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., who was to unveil the legislation Wednesday along with Democrats Robert Menendez of New Jersey, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Kay Hagan of North Carolina.

Here’s more about that study…

The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, which compiled the research and plans to release its findings on Tuesday, also measured the time drivers took their eyes from the road to send or receive texts.

In the moments before a crash or near crash, drivers typically spent nearly five seconds looking at their devices — enough time at typical highway speeds to cover more than the length of a football field.

Even though trucks take longer to stop and are less maneuverable than cars, the findings generally applied to all drivers, who tend to exhibit the same behaviors as the more than 100 truckers studied, the researchers said. Truckers, they said, do not appear to text more or less than typical car drivers, but they said the study did not compare use patterns that way.

Listen, nanny stateism or not, this is legislation that needs to be passed. Those of us who’ve texted while driving know how ridiculously dangerous it is and we’ve all thought, “Man, if something had jumped out in front of me…”

The upside of a federal mandate? I smell a business plan…

  • Aaron

    As someone who must be on-call for work, and often must deal with emergency calls while driving, I totally agree with this bill. I installed a handsfree kit in my car for talking, and honestly that’s the most I’m willing to do in a car. I’d ignore calls otherwise.

  • Bob Morris

    While I support the intention of the law, I have never liked the practice of Congress strong-arming states into passing laws by holding up funding.

    That being said, the fact the legislation is being debated may convince more states to pass such legislation, should the federal legislation not pass.

    Perhaps a question to be asked is how many states that do not have such a law on the books, have seen efforts to get one passed.

  • kranky kritter

    Texting while driving is a dumb and dangerous thing to do. Studies have even shown that simply talking on the phone while driving, hands free or no, increases the chance of an accident.

    Yet Americans blithely persist in doing these things anyway. So when laws are passed against such things, claims of nanny-statism in these cases ring awfully hollow. After all, as one who is often willing to complain about nanny-statism, I know that a big part of that argument involves believing that people can handle their own affairs better than the government can. But the available data in these cases shows that they really can’t. Instead, it shows that people will do what’s best for them at the moment even if they’re risking the safety of other drivers.

    Almost everyone does it, and we talk ourselves into it with a little “I’m sure it will be fine.” That’s if we even acknowledge the bumped up risk. It’s what we do, folks.

  • Jay

    I’m with KK on this one. I hate nanny-laws. But texting while driving is just… there’s really no words to how dumb and dangerous it really is. I TRIED it once. I think I covered about 8 lanes in about 10 seconds. Never again. Obviously my situation was a bit of an exaggeration, but there’s no way that everyone can do this even remotely close to safely. The penalty should be stiff.