Three new states working on texting ban

The states of Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota are currently studying bills to make texting while driving illegal.

In Iowa, the House Transportation Committee approved a measure to ban motorists from using their cell phone or sending text messages while driving.  While it has not made its way yet to the House and Senate, the bill plans to fine $65 anyone who violates the legislation.

Nebraska already bans motorists under the age of 18 to use their cell phone or send text messages while driving.  The new bill proposes to expand the measure to all drivers.  In a recent public hearing, many students and safety officials supported the new law, and no one publically opposed.  If lawmakers take a full vote on the bill and a majority approves it, Nebraska would become the 20th state to ban texting while driving.

South Dakota tried in 2009 to pass a bill that would prohibit writing, reading, or sending an e-mail message while driving; unfortunately, the bill was killed by a reviewing committee.  A new measure was presented which would make the use of a wireless communications device to compose, read or send an electronic message illegal.  Like last year, the bill must get through a reviewing committee before making its way to the House.

All bills are facing some opposition.  As said by Iowa Rep. Nick Wagner: “I don’t think we need government intrusion here.”

Would you qualify promoting safe driving practices as a government intrusion?

Source: Sioux City Journal, February 12, 2010

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