New York is one of 40 states that have banned texting while driving. In the four or so years since the ban went into effect in New York state, a bit more than 11,000 tickets have been issued for all hand held phone violations, including texting.
According to what one of my son’s classmates’ mothers told me recently, texting and driving claims up to 3.2 million lives every years in the United States. Now, there’s talk of an app that could stop the highways from becoming rivers of blood.
What, you thought Ray LaHood’s war on distracted driving would be limited to a lot of hot air, a do-nothing summit and a ban on federal employees text messaging in federal vehicles? Yeah, so did we. Turns out that the position of Transportation Secretary leaves plenty of time for windmill tilting, as the WSJ reports LaHood is back on his old hobbyhorse. The SecTrans is pushing for the federal ban on texting while driving, and he’s back to the old double-nickel strategy: deny federal highway funding to states that refuse to pass local bans on texting while driving. Which is certainly better than some of the more Patriot Act-esque enforcement methods LaHood had been considering. Still, didn’t the mess that was the distracted driving summit convince LaHood that it’s impossible to legislate against stupidity, especially when there’s such a lucrative business in perpetuating said stupidity? Guess not.