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Texting and driving now illegal in 30 states


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Texting and driving now illegal in 30 states

Christine Tierney / The Detroit News

Texting and driving is risky in more ways than one. It's not only a distracting habit, but it's also illegal now in most states.

Delaware became the 30th state to ban drivers from texting or even holding cell phones when Gov. Jack Martell signed legislation last week that would levy fines on handheld cell phone use.

A week earlier, Massachusetts enacted a law entailing a $100 fine for a first texting-and-driving offense. The fine rises to $250 for a second offense, and $500 for a third.

Since July 1, it has been illegal in Michigan to text or check e-mail while driving.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood welcomed the latest bans on texting while driving.

Nearly 6,000 people were killed on American roads in 2008 in accidents caused by distracted drivers, according to the Transportation Department. It said the highest proportion involved teenage drivers.

In the law passed in Massachusetts, any drivers younger than 18 caught texting or using a cell phone while driving would have their license suspended for 60 days in addition to the fine. They would be required to take an "attitude" course before getting their license back.

"The simple fact is that texting and talking on cell phones behind the wheel is a deadly epidemic," LaHood wrote last week on the Transportation Department's Fast Lane blog.

"Some people think they can text or talk on the phone and still drive safely. You cannot do it.

"When you look at your BlackBerry for four seconds, you are driving the length of a football field without watching the road. And when you talk on your cell phone, you tell your brain it's OK to devote your primary attention to something other than your driving," he wrote.

LaHood criticized efforts by a lobbying group to counter the government's campaign against texting and driving. The Washington, D.C.-based Seward Square Group said it was no longer trying to build a coalition, but said its intention had been misunderstood.

"The goal of the proposed coalition concept never was to oppose texting bans, but rather to work with all concerned parties and public safety advocates to modernize driver education and promote aggressive enforcement, as this issue is more than just phones in cars," a spokesman for the Seward Square Group said Friday. "Our collaborative effort simply sought to expand the discussion to include other common forms of driver distraction."

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, part of the Transportation Department, has developed sample legislation to help states draft laws to ban texting and driving. It is based on President Barack Obama's Oct. 1, 2009, executive order prohibiting federal employees from texting while operating government-owned vehicles and equipment.

From The Detroit News: http://www.detnews.com/article/20100711/AUTO01/7110310/1148/Texting-and-driving-now-illegal-in-30-states#ixzz0tTnk0V2K

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  • 3 years later...

Good luck enforcing it. I think they only thing they really can do is come up with some software solution to disable texting functionality while people are driving. Perhaps the phone manufacturers and automobile manufacturers can do something like this as a safety measure. I would vote for it in a heartbeat.

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I have a class a CDL, the for for texting in a big truck is like $3600. I would be assessed that same fine, even if I'm in my personal car, jut because I have a CDL.

I think that is outrageous, but I see both sides. Personally I do not text and drive, because I cannot do it and feel safe. Some people say they can, and if that's the case, why do I care?

This is completely I enforceable, especially for truck drivers, because there is no way a cop can see up into a big truck. However, if a truck is ever involved in an accident, I believe they pull the phone records to see if you were texting.

I just wish that people would think of others instead of themselves, is any text really that important that it can't wait 20 minutes until you get to your destination? If so, pull over and deal with it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

There's something about having a passenger that is less distracting. I'll often help my dad with his work and he'll be driving. With me talking, he's still focused on the road.

When he is talking on the phone (which is illegal), I notice he becomes less tuned in. I'll notice a decline in his spatial awareness and ability to predict what is going to happen on the road.

He's a guy with two decades of city bus driving, and was a cabbie beforehand. He was a professional driver. Yet when he uses a phone, he still manages to be less attentive of surroundings.

Plus, even a chatty passenger is still an extra pair of eyes who can help navigate.

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This, the ability to make decisions gets reduced while talking on the phone and driving. I prefer not talking at all, while driving.

Bluetooth takes out the need to physically hold the phone, but not the lack of concentration.

When he is talking on the phone (which is illegal), I notice he becomes less tuned in. I'll notice a decline in his spatial awareness and ability to predict what is going to happen on the road.

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  • 2 weeks later...
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  • 1 year later...

I believe texting and driving should be illegal in all states. Kids are the worst with this these days. I mean it is hard enough driving in traffic while talking on the phone, but taking your eyes off the road constantly is crazy. This is hazardous to everyone.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Its Illegal here in New Zealand. As is talking while driving without a hands-free device. It really should be illegal everywhere. I've seen a couple accidents in the past month that were the result of some idiot looking down at their phone while trying to go around a roundabout (hehe say that ten times fast). It really is just a simple matter of pulling over to the side of the road and to check your phone that is so much safer. 

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Some cars now interface with your phone and can read your text messages to you and also send pre-typed replies.

I think more cars need this feature. I know that a lot can interface with your phone and make and receive calls but I had never heard of them reading out Text messages before. It would be nice to be able to use a voice recognition feature to be able to send out any text, but I guess pre-typed replies are better than nothing. 

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Some cars now interface with your phone and can read your text messages to you and also send pre-typed replies.

I think more cars need this feature. I know that a lot can interface with your phone and make and receive calls but I had never heard of them reading out Text messages before. It would be nice to be able to use a voice recognition feature to be able to send out any text, but I guess pre-typed replies are better than nothing. 

 

 

Many of the Ford cars with Sync have this ability (I know from experience the Fiesta, Taurus, and Flex do, so I assume the other Sync equipped cars do as well).  The big General Motors Crossovers do (Acadia, Enclave, Traverse), but my Buick Encore does not have this ability.   The pre-typed replies are simple like "Okay", "I love you", "Talk to you later", "Be there soon"

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I agree with making it illegal since we know that it causes so many deaths each year, maybe enforcing stricter legislation and laws on the matter will discourage people from using their phones, and hopefully lead to fewer car accidents that would normally occur due to this.

 

Talking on bluetooth, or hands free using your car, however, is a bit different since you only have to press one button start talking, and while it might be slightly distracting I don't think it has that much impact on your awareness while driving, I mean we are usually thinking about a million different things at once anyway. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I believe in japan the new cars there have blocker of some kind that deflect the phone signals in the car. That is how they are enforcing the law.

Having been run off the road and nearly killed by a texting driver I have my own personal feeling about this.

 

I also find some folks are as bad with GPS as they press buttons and drift into my lane on the highway. Re-calculate!

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I agree with making it illegal since we know that it causes so many deaths each year, maybe enforcing stricter legislation and laws on the matter will discourage people from using their phones, and hopefully lead to fewer car accidents that would normally occur due to this.

 

Talking on bluetooth, or hands free using your car, however, is a bit different since you only have to press one button start talking, and while it might be slightly distracting I don't think it has that much impact on your awareness while driving, I mean we are usually thinking about a million different things at once anyway. 

 

 

I believe in japan the new cars there have blocker of some kind that deflect the phone signals in the car. That is how they are enforcing the law.

Having been run off the road and nearly killed by a texting driver I have my own personal feeling about this.

 

I also find some folks are as bad with GPS as they press buttons and drift into my lane on the highway. Re-calculate!

 

Could we start with getting the State Patrol or for that matter all police to stop the double standards. I see so many talking on phones, texting etc while driving. Yet they have no problem to pull you over and ticket you. Also PT buses have phones and the drivers are on them talking all the time. Scary especially now that the double Decker buses are becoming so popular here at least in Seattle running on CNG.

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I don't care who it is Cop, Preacher, soccer Mom who ever.

 

But the real fact is how do you enforce it? I laugh everything I see a law passed as people just don't care till they cause an accident and face charges.

 

Sorry I am not a person who get fixed on Cop behavior too much as they are no different than anyone else. Also not all cops do it either.

 

As for the busses I have seen it several times here where a bus driver is busted by his own on board camera for an accident while on the phone.

The bottom line is most people are not skilled enough to multi task and even those who are have their attention skills diminished. Having eaten an airbag because of this it pisses me off when I see a crash because of this. But people even some smart people think they can handle it. Just like drinking and driving.

 

I had a co worker picked up for DUI. He jumped all over the cop for pulling him over. They got back to the station and showed him the video once he cleared up and he was all over the place and almost crashed at high speed several times. He said he always thought he could handle it but said then he apologized to the cop and told him you may have saved my life. It scared him so much It got him to stop drinking.

 

The phones in cars are just another piece of technology that while is a blessing it has a bite to it too. There are just some things people need to be taught standards on that are not crossed but we don't and we will continue to pay the price as we go as too many people think they can handle it. This is Technology Heroin and they are addicted to it. 

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I also feel we need to instill personal responsibility in people again as today no one will take blame for their own actions. I it is sad how it is always someone else fault.

 

While personal responsibility was never 100% it used to be a lot higher than now. Don Henley covered it well in the song Get Over It.

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  • 4 weeks later...

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