Another great post from CarConnection.Com–This is a growing trend.
Driving While Texting: The New DUI? BlackBerrys, Treos latest driving distraction.
by Marty Padgett
We’ve warned of the dangers of driving on Ambien, Rozerem, and other sleep aids. Now, as the Wall Street Journal reports, law enforcement is beginning to pay attention to the growing threat of driving while texting. Text messaging, that is.
The Journal reports that the Washington state legislature has proposed a bill that would make it illegal to drive while “reading, writing, or sending electronic messages” – texting. The legislator sponsoring the bill, Joyce McDonald, hiply refers to “CrackBerry” usage as an emerging cause in vehicle accidents.
Washington isn’t the only jurisdiction working on texting bans. Oregon would establish a $720 fine for texting or holding a cellphone to the ear, while Arizona would make driving and texting an infraction that could be ticketed.
Cellphone use is the hallmark of so-called “distracted driving” infractions, the Journal says. Four states and the District of Columbia disallow the use of cell phones while driving, and 38 states are considering legislation to limit cellphone use.
But texting may already have claimed lives, the paper notes. A 2005 accident in Tennessee claimed the life of a pickup driver who was texting when he lost control of the truck. Nationwide, the insurance company, estimates 19 percent of all drivers text behind the wheel, while 37 percent of drivers from 18 to 27 have done so.
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