Effective immediately 4.5 million federal employees and military personnel are now banned from texting while driving. This week, President Obama issued a signed executive order. The order covers federal employees when using government-provided cars and or cell phones and their own cell phones and cars to conduct government business is not allowed. Driving while talking on cell phones has been banned in seven states, and texting while driving has been banned in 18 states, including California.
DWD or “Driving While Distracted” is a priority for lawmakers around the nation as more information becomes available on accidents associated with DWD. Deaths blamed on distracted drivers are up since 2004, and are most common among young, inexperienced motorists, according to the National Center for Statistics and Analysis. The Department of Transportation refers to texting technology as a deadly epidemic and distracts drivers and according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration distracted drivers account for almost 80% of all crashes and 65% of near-crashes in the United States.
So who’s going to help enforce the federal order? The author of the bill Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) is tying state passage of distracted driving laws to the federal highway funds. Schumer bill will require all states to ban texting or emailing by drivers or risk losing 25% of their annual highway funds. "The fact is, the federal government cannot, by itself, outlaw texting while driving," Schumer said, noting that states have the authority to make such laws. "But the federal government can make it hard for those states that don't go along."
Government banning texting technology or the exchange of brief written messages between mobile phones is not based on true stats or formal studies done on traffic deaths but the ban is due to pressure and text messaging has become the main form of communication among teenagers.
Texting is a twenty year old technology and Wikipedia reports the average number of text messages sent in the United States per subsciiber per month was 188. Text messages are the most common application of service however some mobile phone carriers provide messages containing images, video and sound content.