Saturday, January 2, 2010
It's Time for Legislators to Enact Legislation Prohibiting Texting While Driving
New Hampshire and Illinois recently enacted legislation which went into effect on 1/1/10 making it illegal to operate a motor vehicle while texting or otherwise checking one's email or updating their Facebook/Twitter/MySpace pages. New Hampshire and Illinois join 18 other states together with Guam and the District of Columbia in enacting legislation prohibiting such conduct in the interest of protecting the public safety. Accordingly, it's high time that other states "wake up and smell the coffee" and do the right thing and pass legislation making it illegal to operate a motor vehicle while texting.
In July, 2009, the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute published a compreshensive study based upon the monitoring of over 6 million actual driving miles on cell phone impact on driving impairment and distractions. The study named texting as the most dangerous of all cell phone activities. See http://www.vtti.vt.edu/PDF/7-22-09-VTTI-Press_Release_Cell_phones_and_Driver_Distraction.pdf. In a commercial motor vehicle (heavy truck), text messaging while driving increased the risk of a crash by 23.2 times. Texting requires a driver to take the driver's eyes off the road more than talking on a cell phone. Texting can result in taking the driver's eyes off the road for the distance of more than a football field. Recently the U.S. Department of Transportation released statistics from 2008 noting that approximately 6,000 people were killed and over 500,000 injuried due to distracted-driving crashes.
President Obama released executive order number 13513 ordering that all federal employees operating a federally owned vehicle or otherwise conducting federal business to cease and desist from operating the vehicle while texting.
Hopefully, Idaho and other states will consider the grave consequences associated with texting while driving and consider legislation to prohibit this unsafe conduct in the hope of promoting the public safety and making the roads a safer and better place for our kids and grandkids.
I encourage each of you to contact your state and federal legislators and ask them to consider enacting legislation that would make our highways and roads a safer place for our families.
CONTACT INFORMATION: If you or a family member have been injured or damaged due to the fault or responsibility of someone else, an industrial accident or by a dangerous or defective product, drug or toxic substance, contact Alan Morton for a no obligation, free consultation.
For additional information contact:
Alan L. Morton
MORTON LAW OFFICES, CHARTERED
1005 North Eighth Street
Post Office Box 420
Boise, ID 83701-0420
Toll Free: 866.946.1669 [866.WIN.1.NOW]