Feds Pondering Nationwide Ban On Driving While Texting

Tameka Kee
Wednesday, August 5, 2009; 9:00 PM

So this is what happens after the NYT highlights research that shows that driving while texting increases the risk of a crash by 23 percent?Federal scrutiny and potential legislation.

A total of 16 states?most recently Oregon and New Hampshire?currently have bans against text messaging while driving; recent high-profile crashes in Boston and Los Angeles due to texting have sparked a ton of media coverage. And according to the WSJ, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said the government would support a more comprehensive law, but that they needed to conduct a bit more research first.

CTIA President Steve Largent told the Journal that the wireless industry trade group supports all state and local statutes that ban texting while driving?but that consumers needed education about the issue, not just laws. In September, the Transportation Dept will host a summit that focuses on the problem of drivers distracted by cell phone use of all kinds; state and city lawmakers, law-enforcement officials and safety advocates are all expected to take part in the summit.

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