text message while driving
From the slopes of Big Bear to the shores of Santa Monica, text messaging is soon to be illegal in the Golden State of California, dude. This makes the sixth state to join the list of no-texting-while-driving, most recently fortified by Alaska's addition at the beginning of this month. Louisiana, Minnesota, New Jersey, and Washington also ban texting and driving. So does the District of Columbia, bringing the list to more like 6 1/2 states, or six states plus a sidecar, or six states and their Senator-less, humidity-loving cousin.
Interestingly, as the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety notes, "novice drivers are banned from texting in 9 states (Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oregon, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia)." Given recent studies that prove texting leads to worse driving than intoxication in some cases, we're surprised those states don't bag on texting altogether. In a move that every state should follow, school bus drivers are banned from texting in Arkansas, Connecticut, North Carolina, Texas, and Virginia. We'd like to appeal, as well, to the TSA and Starbucks to ban any texting by their employees while working.
Also interestingly, California will be enforcing a rolling ban of texting, with drivers younger than 18 having been banned from texting since July 2008, and all other drivers banned from texting beginning January 1.--Colin Mathews