A recent study from Virginia Tech showed that texting while driving makes you 23 times more likely to get into a crash and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is looking to address the problem head-on with a September summit to study distracted driving. LaHood plans to to use the summit with law enforcement, safety advocates and transportation officials to come up with a series of concrete steps to curtail distracted driving. The Los Angeles Times reports that LaHood would like to ban text messaging, though the Secretary says enforcement and education is key.
The Senate is already looking at the possibility of a nationwide ban on text messaging while driving. Since states typically mandate such laws, the federal government is looking to enact a set of restrictions that states will have to enforce, or risk losing 25% of their federal road improvement funding.
While a ban of text messaging would likely curtail such behavior, we're wondering how such a law could be properly enforced. It would likely be difficult for officers to know definitively if a driver was text messaging while driving, unless the phone is confiscated or phone records are checked. Of course, the same could also be said for areas in which talking on the phone while driving is illegal (without a hands-free device), and we haven't heard of any major legal challenges issued on that front.
[Source: The Los Angeles Times | Source: Michael Smith/Getty]