Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Hold That Message

Looks like a ban on texting while driving will be a hot topic again this legislative season. Three Missouri lawmakers have already filed texting while driving bills for the January legislative session. All three bills would make texting while driving illegal for all drivers, regardless of age.

Texting while driving is one of the most dangerous things you can do while on the road. Missouri’s current law prohibits those 21 years old and younger from texting behind the wheel.

In addition, MoDOT recently banned employees from texting while driving work vehicles. The ban also applies to personal vehicles when on-the-job.

Texting drivers spend 400% more time with their eyes off the road. A recent study from the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute found that truck drivers face a 23 times greater risk of crash or near crash when texting than when not doing so.

Even if you’re willing to take the risk of injuring or killing yourself, you’re not the only one at risk. You could injure or kill someone else. Eighty percent of all crashes involve some sort of driver distraction.

It’s important for drivers to focus their full attention on their driving. Texting is a dangerous distraction that takes away the driver's attention from the task at hand which is driving. An all-driver texting ban is another positive step in reducing driving distractions.

What are your thoughts: do you support an all-driver texting ban?


Anonymous said...

That is fine but you have to ban all distractions like eating, drinking, messing with the radio, smoking (how many times have i seen someone brush ashes off their lap when driving) and talking on the phone too.

It is the distracted driver causing the problem not the texting. Eliminate all distractions... don't just pick one. It will do little good.

Anonymous said...

Yes, texting should be banned while a motor vehicle is running. Further, all cell phone use while operating a motor vehicle should be banned, in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

Making it mandatory to have a hands free device-blue tooth or free earpiece that often comes with phone would be a good idea and more likely to pass. I think CA has that law.

Anonymous said...

It is hard to tell if one is texting, or changing a song on their IPOD. All distractions are dangerous, PERIOD.
It will be hard to enforce texting, unless there is a general rule for pulling over someone who is distracted by anything. That doesn't necessarily need to generate a court date or fine ticket, but pulling someone over if they are clearly distracted will get them focused again, and avoid an accident for the time being. This will save a life and hopefully get that driver back on track. If that person is pulled over again within a 24 hour period, then a fine can be charged. This can be done, and successfully.

tom said...

Allowing any individual to determine if someone is just texting of dialing sets a dangerous presadent. The assumption is that a police officer can determine which one the person is doing from another vehicle gives law enforcement way to much power. We have laws regarding careless and imprudent ENFORCE them instead of passing more laws. Most of us don't need the nanny state mentality of those in government employ.

Anonymous said...

Texting while driving along with all cell phone use should be banned while driving. People have a false sense of safety when using a hands free device, but even those drivers have a reaction time equal to or worse than a drunk driver.