Out of the 50 United States, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands, only four of the states have so far refused to ban texting while driving.
Arizona and Montana each have no conditions attached to a texting ban. Missouri’s ban applies only to drivers 21 years of age or younger, and in Texas, there is no texting allowed when bus drivers have passengers aged 17 years and younger; during the first 12 months for an intermediate driver’s license holder; and drivers in school crossing zones.
Otherwise, drivers are free to text while driving. “Texting is probably one of the most egregious distractions that a person can voluntary engage in,” says Michael Right, Vice President of Public Affairs, Automobile Association of America (AAA). But according to an article from Government Technology magazine, it doesn’t look like convincing those four states to require an unconditional texting ban will be easy to accomplish.
The article focuses on Texas because the texting debate will be brought to the Texas Senate when the Legislature returns in January 2017.
And while the texting ban has pretty widespread and passionate support from law enforcement groups, insurance companies, major cellphone corporations, the Texas Medical Association and Texas Hospital Association, a majority of the Senate backs the sentiments of former Governor Rick Perry who feels that the ban is “a government effort to micromanage the behavior of adults.”
It should be noted that federal regulations prohibit texting and the use of hand-held mobile phones by truck and bus drivers while operating a commercial motor vehicle.
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