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U.S. DOT creates sample law for states looking to ban texting while driving

Posted On Mon, February 22, 2010

The U.S. Department of Transportation has unveiled sample legislation of what could eventually become a bill to ban the act of texting while driving across the country.

U.S. Transportation Secretary unveiled the sample laws on Monday as a "starting point" for states who want to prohibit texting behind the wheel to begin the legislative process. The law was modeled after an executive order handed down by President Barack Obama last November that told federal employees not to text while behind the wheel of a government vehicle.

"Texting while driving, like talking on cell phones while driving, is an extremely dangerous and life-threatening practice," said LaHood. "This language, which we created with a variety of safety organizations, is another powerful tool in our arsenal to help the states combat this serious threat."

Referencing data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which also helped in preparing the sample state laws, almost 6,000 people died from accidents caused by a driver who was distracted or not paying attention in 2008.

Due to the likely reduction in accidents and fender-benders that would occur if a ban against texting was enacted, those looking for an eventual reduction in their auto insurance premiums may stand to benefit from legislation as insurers have fewer cases to deal with.

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