Friday, May 9, 2008

Driving to Distraction

As someone who can barely dial a cell phone while driving, it is unfathomable that one would attempt to text message, but according to a story in the current issue of State Legislatures, a recent survey (they do not name the source) found that 20% of us admit to the deed, and that number is increased to 66% for drivers between the ages of 18 - 24.

In Hawaii, there were two bills introduced in 2008 proposing to ban the use of cell phones while driving, HB2462 introduced by Rep. Caldwell, and HB3323 introduced by Rep. Luke; neither were heard in committee. The issue, however, is gaining momentum across the country as 29 states and the District of Columbia have enacted cell phone laws, including banning cell phone and text messaging while driving. For example:
  • California and Maine prohibit all drivers under 18 from using cell phones.

  • Oregon, Colorado, Nebraska, Texas, Minnesota, Illinois, Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Connecticut prohibit drivers of a certain age with only a learner's permit from using cell phones.

  • New Jersey also prohibits all drivers from texting.

  • Washington state prohibits driving while texting.

(Source: NCSL)

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