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Drivers Shouldn’t Be Text Messaging, Says New York Councilman

Posted on August 20, 2008 by LCT Staff - Also by this author - About the author

NEW YORK CITY – First New Jersey and now New York could be next to ban text messaging behind the wheel.

Councilman David Weprin plans to unveil a measure Friday that would ban the sending or reading of text messages while driving in New York City.

Weprin said that text messaging while driving is a risk to drivers, passengers, and pedestrians and the probability for an accident is higher since the phone is a distraction from the road.

The ban would be modeled after the state's ban on the use of cell phones while driving which imposes a $100 fine for the first violation.

A similar bill is pending approval by the State Legislature but Weprin hopes the announcement of his proposal attracts attention. Weprin wants to raise awareness about a new system employed by the New York Taxi and Limousine Commission which would have drivers text-message dispatchers whether they are available to pick up a passenger requesting a handicapped-accessible cab.

He finds the system has potential to create a dangerous situation.

The New York Taxi and Limousine Commission said it would require drivers to pull over to text-message.

Alaska, Minnesota, New Jersey, and Washington are the only states that currently ban text-messaging while driving. Sixteen others are considering passing a bill.

Source: 1010 Wins, NY

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