An article on AP News states:
Texting, emailing or chatting on a cellphone while driving is simply too dangerous to be allowed, federal safety investigators declared Tuesday, urging all states to impose total bans except for emergencies.
The recommendation goes so far as to make it illegal even to use a hands free device. I’m doubtful that such a federal law will ever come to be in the US, but this is the first I’ve ever read of federal investigators even making the suggestion. I’ve experienced plenty of close calls while biking and truly believe a large percentage of them could have been avoided if drivers were more alert. It’s WAY too easy to be distracted while driving these days: cell phones, mp3 players, DVD players, navigation devices… the list just goes on.
The picture included with this post depicts
a rescue worker at the scene of an accident involving two school buses, a tractor-trailer and another passenger vehicle, near Gray Summit, Mo. Federal safety investigators say a 19-year-old driver was texting at the time his pickup truck, two school buses and other vehicles collided in a deadly pileup on an interstate highway in Missouri last year.
While it is great to see attention paid to this issue at a federal level, it would be even better to see enforcement of existing laws and stricter penalties for people who cause accidents through distracted driving. If you prefer to have your news read to you, I also found some ABC coverage on the same topic
Here at RIBike, we are working behind the scenes to introduce our vulnerable roadway user legislation for the third straight session. Each attempt, it seems to be building support in the legislature, but we could use even more help. If you have experience with legislation or have an interest in seeing what legislative work is all about, come to one of our monthly meetings and learn how you too can make a difference!