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Drivers of large vehicles are the latest to feel the wrath of the anti-texting movement

Driving is a privilege that most Americans take for granted. We drive to work, we drive to see family, and we run errands on the weekend to Home Depot or fend off soccer moms in their minivans at Target. However, technology continues to invade not only our lives, but also our vehicles, which is making the normally mundane act of driving more challenging.

From GPS units to cell phones to SYNC in-car infotainment systems, U.S. drivers have found new ways to distract themselves while driving thanks to technology (not to mention other favorites such as applying makeup, eating, reading the newspaper, etc.). Texting while driving is the latest craze to infect drivers and states around the country are swiftly implementing laws to make such activities illegal. Texting is already banned in 19 states, and 23 states are currently prepping their own laws to tackle the problem.

"Legislators are looking to see if it (texting) is enough of a safety issue that they need to intervene," said Anne Teigen told the USA Today. Teigen is a transportation specialist for the National Conference of State Legislatures. "They often get involved because there's a high-profile accident that had to do with texting. Also, because everybody has a cellphone now."

While states are currently going it alone in drafting "no texting while driving" laws, there are a few nationwide texting bans that drivers should heed. President Obama issued an executive order at the close of 2009 banning all federal workers -- rather, those on the job -- from texting while driving. The ban affects roughly four million federal workers.

Now a new, federal ban is coming down from the U.S. government. The latest nationwide texting ban applies to drivers of big rigs and buses. "We want the drivers of big rigs and buses and those who share the roads with them to be safe," said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "This is an important safety step and we will be taking more to eliminate the threat of distracted driving."

Drivers that choose not to abide by the new law face a fine of $2,750.

The bans from both the states and the U.S. government come on the heels of numerous studies which point out the dangerous consequences of texting and driving. A study by the University of Utah showed that drivers that text behind the wheels are six times more likely to be involved in a collision. The National Security Council notes that roughly 200,000 accidents are caused each drivers who text behind the wheel.

However, it's wishful thinking to believe that nationwide texting bans are going to stop people from partaking in America's favorite electronic pastime. Reuters has previously reported that teens aren't persuaded to stop their texting addictions just because there are laws on the books to prohibit the act.

"What I would say is that texting and cell phone devices have become such a component of life for teens and for young people that it's hard for them to differentiate between doing something normal and doing something wrong," remarked Steven Bloch, a senior research associate for the Automobile Club.

Considering that texting while driving isn't a habit that only affect teenagers, it's more than likely that drivers in a more "advanced state of age" are reluctant to stop the practice as well.

While the current nationwide texting bans affect a relatively small portion of the entire U.S. driver pool, Senator Chuck Schumer (Democrat, NY) is looking to change that. Senator Schumer has introduced legislation that would call for a federal ban on texting while driving. States that don't comply with the legislation would be see a 25 percent cut in the federal highway funds they receive.



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RE: It's a good start
By sinful on 1/28/2010 2:32:27 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Horrible example. Before UPS and FedEx (i.e. competition) USPS was quite horrible.

LOL, Compared to WHO?
You might as well add "They were the worst, and the best, because nobody else was even around!".

quote:
Maybe the DMV would suite better? Oh... wait... maybe they need some competition?? (sorry, low blow, I know haha)

Yeah, maybe they should put the folks from ENRON in charge.
Oh, low blow right back at you!

quote:
Oh, you mean the tax dollars which are terribly hard to track, and are perverted by the 16,000+ pages of tax code? Yeah, thats a great argument to take...

Funny you should say that, since the government is often forced to disclose FAR more than what a company does -- and they can be voted out / kept out of office.
Don't like how your state is being run? Vote your leaders out. Don't like how Toyota is run? TOUGH LUCK, BUDDY.

quote:
and "big business", which has lately only shown to allow the businesses with lobbyists to write laws vicariously through politicians in a way that harms competition, and ultimately allows the big businesses to continue monopolizing.


The fault with that logic is that this happens BECAUSE of government, paradoxically ignoring the fact that big businesses try to monopolize and harm competition ANWYAY -- and only government regulation actually stops them.
What, you don't think Intel wouldn't pull every dirty trick in the book against AMD if they didn't have to worry about the Feds?

quote:
Then there is the "service" of warrantless wire-tapping which STILL has yet to be repealed, and was in fact passed by two separate congresses, one Dem, one Repub, and is an absolute violation of our civil liberties.

Want me to go on?

No, because its just a rant irrelevant to the topic at hand.

quote:
You see, I have reasons for why I am against the expansion of government. I am glad that government exists, I just see the reasons why it should be limited. In that regard, I am quite like the Founding Fathers who, by the way, created a nation with only necessary and proper regulation of the private sector which skyrocketed this nation from creation to world power in a span of 150 years, a feat which has never been done before, and has yet to be approached again (although, not much time has been allowed for that yet.)

Freedom is a much better way in every regard than more government control, so long as there are governmental restrictions on people so that the people do not violate the rights of others.


Funny you should say that -- "The USPS is one of the few government agencies explicitly authorized by the United States Constitution... the USPS's first incarnation was established by Benjamin Franklin in Philadelphia in 1775 by decree of the Second Continental Congress. "

Looks like you don't know what you're talking about when it comes to the founding fathers.
Oh, but let me guess, Ben Franklin is an ignoramus on the constitution compared to you.


"This week I got an iPhone. This weekend I got four chargers so I can keep it charged everywhere I go and a land line so I can actually make phone calls." -- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg














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