Texting while driving legislation

There is a new apps for most phones now that will allow drivers to text and drive handsfree. This is a great app for truck drivers. Read the following excerpt from their website:

Texting while driving regroups the actions of reading, composing, or sending email and text messages from a mobile device while operating a motor vehicle.  It causes diversion of attention and lowers a driver’s ability to focus on the road.

Texting while driving increases the risks of crashes or near-crashes and reduces one’s awareness and performance.  According to the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, the practice raises crash risk by 23 times for truck drivers.  In another study from the University of Utah, it was determined that texting behind the wheels increases by 6 the risk of accidents.

The subject has become a hot issue in recent years due to a number of events that attracted the media.  In 2008, 25 train passengers were killed when a commuter train and a freight train collided.  It was later reported that the commuter train driver was exchanging text messages minutes before the crash.  In another incident, a Boston trolley car driver who was texting his girlfriend injured 49 passengers by crashing into another trolley car.  More recently, in 2010, Oprah Winfrey launched a “No Phone Zone” campaign to encourage her viewers to shut down their cell phone while driving

Laws

United States

A few actions have been made by the federal administration to tackle on the subject of texting while driving.

In September 2009, the Department of Transportation held a Distracted Driving Summit, where a number of safety experts, industry representatives, elected officials, and members of the public discussed on ways to put an end to distracted driving.

At the end of 2009, President Obama banned federal employees from text messaging when they are behind the wheel of government vehicles and from texting in their own cars if they use government-issued phones or are on official business.

More recently, in January 2010, U.S Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced a federal guidance to prohibit commercial vehicle drivers, such as trucks and buses, from exchanging text messages while driving. Those caught texting while driving may be subject to civil or criminal penalties of up to $2,750.

Otherwise, each state has the power to legislate on texting while driving.

Read more at their website and to download the app to your phone

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