So far, 39 states have some form of law against texting while driving, but it is a hard thing to enforce. Many drivers continue to text on the road, confident that the local smokies won't spot their sins.

That time might be over for Massachusetts and Connecticut, as the National highway Traffic Safety Administration has awarded $550,000 in order to develop methods to better spot texters in the act. Each state will receive $275,000 to conduct "high visibility anti-texting enforcement programs."

According to U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, "We have come a long way in our fight against distracted driving, but there is still much more work to be done." He continued, "Texting behind the wheel is especially dangerous, which is why we're working with states like Connecticut and Massachusetts to address this important safety issue."

While laws are in effect across the country, it is more difficult to detect texting than it is a driver placing a call on a cell phone. This initiative from NHTSA would develop techniques, such as spotters on overpasses and roving patrols, to determine the effectiveness of these practices. The program will be conducted over a two-year period, and the results will be made available to other states that are encountering texting and driving issues. Read more in the press release below.
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U.S. Department of Transportation Gives Connecticut and Massachusetts $550,000 for Texting Ban Enforcement Demonstrations

Grants will allow States to Establish Best Practices for Enforcement Programs Aimed at Curbing Texting and Driving?

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) today announced it is providing $550,000 to Connecticut and Massachusetts to help them plan and conduct high-visibility anti-texting enforcement programs. Each state will receive $275,000 to develop and train police officers on better methods for spotting drivers who are texting, and to develop media techniques that alert the public to the perils of texting and driving.
"We have come a long way in our fight against distracted driving, but there is still much work to be done," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "Texting behind the wheel is especially dangerous, which is why we're working with states like Connecticut and Massachusetts to address this important safety issue."

Today, 39 states have laws on the books that specifically ban texting and 10 states have laws that prohibit the use of handheld cell phones while driving. Despite such laws, prior demonstration programs conducted in Hartford, Connecticut, and Syracuse, New York, found that it is more challenging to detect a driver texting behind the wheel compared to drivers talking on a handheld device. The vast majority of tickets issued under those programs were for handheld phone use – about five percent of the citations issued across both communities were for texting violations.

"While it is relatively easier for law enforcement to determine illegal handheld cell phone use by observing the position of the phone at the driver's ear, the dangerous practice of texting while driving is often not as obvious," said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland. "These two new demonstration programs will help identify real-world protocols and practices to better detect if a person is texting while driving."

The demonstration grants announced today by NHTSA call for Connecticut and Massachusetts to develop anti-texting enforcement protocols and techniques such as using stationary patrols, spotters on overpasses on elevated roadways and roving patrols, to test their effectiveness in four successive waves of high-visibility enforcement activities over a 24-month period. The results of these demonstrations will be documented for the benefit of other states which are facing the same challenges.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 2 Years Ago
      Texting while driving is NOT working I can tell you that! I personally have noticed that it has increased if anything. Just yesterday this girl was trying to do a Michigan turnaround if you know what that is, and she was trying to do it one handed, well, she was all over the road and I had to go around her. I layed on the horn and she looked up at me with a completely confused look on her face, pretty much saying I don't get why your honking at me. GREAAAAT. With my wife and I just having a kid, we have both made it a very strong goal not to do this at all!! There are enough people that shouldn't be driving to begin with, and then you add texting to the mix. I need my concentration to be 100% aware of what's going around to get me and my child out of the way of these oblivious jackasses!
      • 2 Years Ago
      Why do they need to study it. It is a known problem leading to many accidents and injurys. Waste of money.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Give me fifty dollars and a bottle of Hendrick's and I will tell you that the ban is a huge failure here in Nevada.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Love Great Danes
      • 2 Years Ago
      Why do we pay so much for a study on something you shouldn't do? Wow I hate the government and its waste. You text you are more likely to crash - study done. How do these imbeciles get voted into Washington?
      Hello Steegs
      • 2 Years Ago
      Easy fix, The phone goes in the trunk, right next to the 12 pack, It should be treated same as open bottle, "problem solved" !!.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Texting while driving is worse the driving drunk. The decision can't be blamed on impaired thinking.
      Wayne Ferguson
      • 2 Years Ago
      As a truck driver these laws have not done anything but waste paper and taxpayer's money. This texting is at epidemic levels. They are still texting while driving down the roads, sitting at redlights or stopsigns while cars pull away and leave them sitting. And now google is trying to get cars to drive themselves. What the heck is wrong with these people. I really enjoying driving my truck, bike, or my car and take pride in doing it. If you don't like driving hire a taxi cab or carpool ,ride a bus, train, anything so you can text your little pathetic life away.
      • 2 Years Ago
      The lunacy of texting while driving is as dangerous, or more so, than driving drunk! Every single time I see one of those suicidal maniacs at the wheel, my heart just jumps...they are not just endangering themselves: it is everyone else, too, within their path of travel. If I had the legal power to so do, each time a text offender was caught, it would mean their vehicle was impounded on the spot! Leave that damned cell phone turned OFF while behind the wheel of any moving vehicle.
      Mark Lathom
      • 2 Years Ago
      What about when the police are doing it?
      • 2 Years Ago
      Get off your phone and drive, whatever your phone is doing, IS NOT AS IMPORTANT AS DRIVING YOUR CAR.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Give me the 550K. Here is my report. When a person does anything in a car besides driving it they put themselves in danger and other people on the road with them ib danger. Pay attention, drive the car and turn off your freakin cell phone.
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