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Texting on the Roads, the Modern Form of Intoxication.

Both bodies of the Massachusetts legislature recently passed bills banning texting while driving a motor vehicle. Governor Patrick has not expressly supported either bill but has voiced support for a ban on driving while texting. The movement to ban texting while operating a motor vehicle has been gathering strength over the past couple of years and now over half of all states have some type of ban on this practice. A recent study conducted by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute found that drivers who text on the road had a collision risk twenty three times higher than drivers not texting. A study conducted at the University of Utah found that “impairments associated with using a cell phone while driving can be as profound as those associated with driving while drunk.” The researchers in the Utah study found that drivers using a cell phone are more likely to miss traffic signals and as likely to be in accidents as a person driving with a .08% B.A.C. (Blood Alcohol Concentration).

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has also expressed support for banning texting on the road, and Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood has said that if he had the power to he would ban drivers from texting.

In a subsequent blog, I will visit the legislation that is contemplated to restrict cell phone use as opposed to texting.

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