WASHINGTON, D.C. — At a Distracted Drivers Summit this week with Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., called for a nationwide ban on texting while driving.
“Not too long ago, most people viewed drunk driving as just a traffic offense – not really a crime. As a prosecutor, I joined with law enforcement officials and safe driving advocates to change the law to make our roads safer. We need to do the same for texting and distracted driving,” said Klobuchar, who is a former Hennepin County Attorney. “When the rubber meets the road, the BlackBerry should be put away – no text message is worth dying for.”
Klobuchar has cosponsored legislation that would require states to pass laws banning the writing, reading and sending of text or email messages while driving. The measure would give states two years to comply or risk losing 25 percent of federal highway funding.
Although Minnesota passed a law banning texting while driving, 32 states still have no laws restricting the practice, according to a statement from Klobuchar’s office.
“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 said in a statement.
Klobuchar was also joined at the summit by the father and sister of Minnesota resident Shreya Dixit, who was killed in a 2007 distracted-driving crash.