Feds Take Action On Driving While Texting

Banning "DWT" - driving while texting, could soon become the next 'seat belt requirement' for states to avoid forfeiture of some of their federal highway funds if a Senate bill is to become law.
July 30, 2009, 12pm PDT | Irvin Dawid
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In the wake of several studies showing the increased crash probability of "driving while distracted", the U.S. Senate is reponding. Charles Schumer, D-NY, is one of four co-sponsers of a bill to require states to outlaw within two years 'driving while texting' or risk losing 25% of their federal highway funds. However, opposition is already mounting. The Governors Highway Safety Association opposes the bill.

"Mr. Schumer said the authors were responding to recent studies that have begun to quantify the risks of texting while driving. One study released earlier this week from the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute found that truck drivers face a 23 times greater risk of crash or near crash when texting than when not doing so.

Research from the University of Utah, which used a driving simulator to study the ability of motorists to multitask, found an eightfold greater risk of crashing when texting. By comparison, Utah researchers showed that drivers using a cellphone to talk face a four times greater risk of crashing, about equal to someone with a 0.08 blood alcohol level, generally the legal limit for intoxication."

Thanks to New York Times Direct - Political Email

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Published on Wednesday, July 29, 2009 in The New York Times - Technology
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