As only 14 states presently ban texting while driving, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today introduced a bill which would ban the practice nationwide.
The bill would force states to write laws to prohibit messaging in vehicles or risk losing 25 percent of their annual federal highway money. Federal lawmakers have used similar strategies to force states to curb speeding and pass seat-belt laws. The new legislation would also set deadlines for regulators at the U.S. Transportation Department to devise minimum penalties for states to implement. States would have two years to enact their own laws. Other sponsors of the bill include Democratic Sens. Robert Menendez (N.J.), Mary Landrieu (La.) and Kay Hagan (N.C.). The introduction of the bill comes a day after the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute released a study on commercial truck drivers that found texting drivers to be 23 times more likely to be involved in a crash or a near miss.
NYC might consider banning texting while walking.