Text Messaging While Driving May be Banned in New Hampshire
New Hampshire is proud of their state's motto- "Live Free Or Die". In fact, they are the only state in the union without an adult seat belt law. Despite this the state legislature is working to pass a law that will ban text messaging while behind the wheel.
This move is surprising as the legislature has rejected attempts to ban cell phones, laptops and other devices that drivers use while driving. Republican legislator Richard Drisko is trying to broaden the ban by adding a provision that would ban drivers from operating a vehicle while a pet is in their lap.
"People are 50-50, there are mixed feelings toward [the legislation]," said Drisko, according to media reports. "A lot of people like it, a lot of people don't like it."
If New Hampshire does in fact ban the use of text messaging devices while driving it would be among a handful of states that have already passed similar laws. Alaska, California, Connecticut, Louisiana, Minnesota, New Jersey and Washington have all prohibited the use of text messaging for all drivers. A total of nine states only ban it for novice drivers while six states have put restrictions on text messaging done by bus drivers.
Text messaging while driving is dangerous for many reasons. The obvious reason, that texting while driving takes your eyes off the road, is only one of the issues surrounding text messaging while driving. The distraction of anticipating a text and answering it is not just dangerous, it can be deadly.
Accidents where text messaging has been involved have caused serious injury and death across the country. Young people are much more likely to text while driving with some surveys reporting 2/3 of young drivers admitting to texting while driving.
The proposed law concerning driving while texting (DWT) would be a huge leap for a state with no income or sales tax. Only time will tell if the legislation will pass. Until then, one can only hope that drivers will make the right choice and put down the cell phone before getting behind the wheel.