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Obama introduced the executive order in October

Anyone who drives or rides in a vehicle has seen other drivers on the roads who aren’t paying attention. People talk on the phone, text, read, and put on makeup while driving all around the country every day leading to accidents and at times death.

President Obama is looking to curb the practice of texting while driving by government employees and in October, Obama announced an executive order that would ban federal employees from texting while they are driving. The executive order even banned federal employees from texting on government provided cell phones when driving in personal vehicles. The executive order officially goes into effect today barring all 4 million federal employees from texting and driving.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said, "I am proud that the federal government is leading by example, and encourage others to think about how they can set a safety example in their communities, whether it's through employee policies, safety awareness campaigns, or just making sure your teen driver knows the risks."

When Obama announced the executive order in October, LaHood immediately directed all 58,000 Transportation Department employees to comply with the order. Lahood said, "Every single time someone takes their eyes or their focus off the road, even for just a few seconds, they put their lives and the lives of others in danger. Distracted driving is unsafe, irresponsible and, in a split second, its consequences can be devastating."

To help promote the dangers of driving while distracted the NHTSA has launched a new website called Distraction.gov. The website gives factoids about distracted driving. One of the claims is that driving and talking on the phone makes you as much of a hazard on the road as someone driving over the legal drinking limit. The site also claims that 6,000 people died in distracted driving incidents in 2008. The NHTSA has also found that fatalities involving distracted drivers went from 8% in 2004 to 11% in 2008.

The real question is if the legislation will stop federal employees from driving and texting or driving while distracted. Many states around the country already have legislation in place that prevents drivers from making or receiving phone calls while driving without using a hands free device and many support a nationwide ban on texting and driving.

Distracted driving is hard for police to prove and therefore it's hard to catch drivers in the act of texting while driving. Teens are among the worst offenders and many say they will not change their habits even if legislation makes it illegal. One teen said, "Nobody is going to listen."

California Highway Patrol spokesman Fran Clader said, "The handheld cell phone is relatively easy for us to spot, we can see when somebody has their phone up to their ear. But with the texting it's a little bit more of a challenge to catch them in the act, because we have to see it and if they are holding it down in their lap it's going to be harder for us to see."



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RE: Mmmm
By roostitup on 12/31/2009 2:22:42 AM , Rating: 2
The point of states is to have some amount of autonomy within one Federal Government. Many states have different viewpoints than others and by forcing them all to agree to only one set of federal government laws is taking away the rights of the states to govern themselves. For the most part there are liberal and conservative states, each one preferring a different set of rules that they have been given the right to set independently from the federal government.

There actually are universal laws throughout the board, it's the constitution and the many bills and acts the go through congress. In terms of medical marijuana the federal government has made it illegal, but if an individual state allows it than it makes it much more difficult for the federal government to put their foot in. Granted, they still do arrest these legal users/growers to a certain extent. The federal government has been keeping out of states rights about medical marijuana much more lately. It's all very complicated.


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