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.

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.

Comments (3)

  1. Submitted by Christine Mlodzik on 09/21/2009 - 10:38 am.

    This is a nice first step; however, they need to expand it to talking on the phone as well, which is equally distracting. The talkers may not be looking down at their phone, but their focus is not completely on the road-or other drivers-as it should be.

  2. Submitted by Bill Krause on 09/21/2009 - 03:30 pm.

    “No text message is so urgent or important that it’s worth dying for,”

    Wow, she’s really sticking her neck out there.

  3. Submitted by Dick Novack on 09/21/2009 - 04:14 pm.

    Expand – maybe, but reasonable as well. There is no difference in the “tunnel vision” effect of talking on the phone (which 1/3 of on patrol police officers are tallied doing), talking to others in the car, concentrating on issues of children in the back seat, talking on a company radio (as people in many companies must d – e.g. school buses), following a written route (again e.g. school buses), paying attention to a GPS, watching or even using a laptop or business routing/delivery screen, (or police laptop), eating, nibbling, drinking …

    Although it was “in good humor” at the time, we could bring back a bill introduced in the MN Legislature – probably in the 50’s or 60’s – either banning mothers-in-law and (female) spouses from cars or muzzling them – because that too causes inattention to driving.

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