Texting bans grow nationwide

Jan. 25, 2010 at 9:47 AM
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WASHINGTON, Jan. 25 (UPI) -- Legislatures in 23 U.S. states are considering bans against texting on cellphones while driving, a practice already prohibited in 19 states, officials said.

On the national level, a bill introduced by Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., would ban texting and states that refused to enforce such a law would risk losing 25 percent of their federal highway funds.

"There's clear public disapproval of the behavior, and there's strong public support for a law," auto club AAA spokesman Justin McNaull told USA Today in a story published Monday.

In all, 194 bills concerning distracted driving, including texting, are being considered this year in 34 states, said Anne Teigen of the National Conference of State Legislatures.

In 2008, 5,870 people -- 16 percent of all highway fatalities -- died in crashes related to distracted driving and 515,000 were hurt, federal transportation statistics show.

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