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Klobuchar backs ban on texting while driving


WASHINGTON, D.C. — Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., has joined a growing group of lawmakers who favor a nationwide ban on texting while driving.

“No text message is so urgent or important that it’s worth dying for,” Klobuchar said in a statement announcing her support for federal legislation that would establish a ban.  “Texting while driving is not safe.  We need drivers to stay alert and keep their eyes on the road, both for their own safety and the safety of all of us.”

Klobuchar is a cosponsor of the “Avoiding Life-Endangering and Reckless Texting by Drivers Act.” The bill would require states to pass laws banning the writing, reading and sending of text of email messages while driving. States would have two years to comply or risk losing 25 percent of federal highway funding.

Minnesota passed a state law in 2008 that banned texting while operating a motor vehicle in the state. Thirty-two states, however, have no laws restricting texting, according to Klobuchar’s office.

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The bill, which will have to go through the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee before it reaches the Senate floor, has four other co-sponsors, including Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C, Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., and Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J.