Current Legislation

Texting While Driving

In the past several years, there has been a dramatic increase in the use of text messaging while driving. This tool is recognizably helpful in terms of communication, but has become an increasing harmful problem when combined with driving.  It is unfortunate that we have to bring forth legislation that will prohibit a practice that is clearly dangerous, but it has become clear that something needs to be done about this dangerous practice.
Virginia Tech University produced a study in July citing that commercial truck drivers were 23 times more likely to crash than non-texters. This practice causes drivers to veer unintentionally as take their eyes off the road and one (or both) hands off the steering wheel.
Some argue that the existing inattentive driving laws will be sufficient in combating this problem. But other behaviors, such as drinking and driving or texting pose such a clear hazard, they need to be singled out and prohibited- including texting. Being able to stop drivers for texting alone (even if not inattentively) would discourage the practice and potentially save lives.
To date, at least 24 other states -including Utah- have banned texting while driving. Idahoans are demanding that the time is now for Idaho to join those states in order to make our roads safer.

Click link below to view the legislation.

http://www.legislature.idaho.gov/legislation/2010/S1352.pdf

4 comments

Carole Kildow

Jan 25th 2010, 4:26 pm

Dear Sen. McGee, So thankful you are working on legislation to prohibit texting while driving. It is such a distraction and takes the thought process away from drivers. Since it is already banned in several states should prove something. Please protect our highways and get this legislation passed. We are behind you.

Michelle Wonacott

Jan 26th 2010, 6:50 pm

Thank you for sponsoring this important legislation. It cannot be passed soon enough! There should be serious penalties for those who text while driving, not just a small fine, or people will continue to engage in this dangerous activity. Studies have shown that someone who is texting while driving is more impaired than a drunk driver! This information should be part of any drivers education course if we are serious about curtailing this activity. Let’s hope it does not take a tragedy for this legislation to pass.

Chris Sumner

Feb 4th 2010, 3:30 pm

Dear Sen. McGee,
I’m a senior at Centennial High School and I’m doing my senior project on the texting while driving policy. I was wondering if you could give me more specific information on the bill you are sponsoring and presenting and/or any other helpful information on your thoughts about the policy. Hopefully everyone can see the importance of this bill and pass it. Tragedies because of this problem are ever increasing and I hope this legislation gets passed. The fact there are several other states that already have this ban in effect should help, but I was after more personal thoughts you might have on the issue and anyone else in the committee. I appreciate your stand on the issue in putting an end to it and I hope that all goes well. Good luck.

Marsha Ogilvie

Feb 26th 2010, 7:50 pm

I was very encouraged to see that SB 1352 passed in the senate transportation committee with no opposition. In regard to the dangers of cell phone use while driving, certainly texting is at the top of the list. Should this eventually become an amendment to Idaho’s inattentive driving law, it will be a positve first step in addressing this unsafe activity. However, the numerous scientific studies that have been completed in recent years clearly indicate the dangers posed by all cell phone use while driving – whether hands-free or not. Please continue to pursue this issue in order to make Idaho’s roadways as safe as possible and to force car makers and cell phone companies to produce technological answers to this very serious threat to public safety.

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