Nearly a dozen states have enacted texting while driving bans this year
WASHINGTON, July 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AAA applauds Delaware on becoming the 30th state to outlaw text messaging by all drivers. Governor Jack Markell signed the bill into law today, making Delaware the 11th state in 2010 to ban text messaging while driving. Last September, AAA launched its campaign to pass texting bans in all 50 states.
"By passing a law banning texting while driving, Delaware continues the momentum in statehouses across the country in outlawing this dangerous form of driver distraction," said Robert L. Darbelnet, AAA president and CEO. "In the last two years alone, almost half of all states – 12 in 2009 and 11 this year – have enacted text messaging bans for all drivers. AAA is encouraged by the recent and rapid progress toward our campaign goal of passing texting bans in all 50 states.
"Too many people are being injured and killed in vehicle crashes that are preventable. AAA will continue to educate the public about the mental and physical distraction associated with text messaging while driving and continue to advocate for texting bans in states without such laws."
Delaware's new law also makes it illegal to talk on a handheld cell phone while driving. Delaware joins California, Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Washington, and the District of Columbia in permitting drivers to talk on a cell phone only with a hands-free device.
"AAA Mid-Atlantic congratulates the Delaware Legislature and Governor Markell on the passage of this new law to combat distracted driving, and we commend their efforts to improve highway safety in the state of Delaware," said Don Gagnon, AAA Mid-Atlantic president and CEO. "AAA Mid-Atlantic has long advocated for comprehensive distracted driving legislation and this is a major step forward in combating texting and other distracted driving in Delaware."
Legislation to establish or improve an existing ban on text messaging while driving is currently being considered in the following states: California, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
The following states and the District of Columbia now prohibit text messaging by all drivers: Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming. Delaware's law will become effective January 3, 2011. Delaware joins Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nebraska, Vermont, Wisconsin, and Wyoming in enacting text messaging bans for all drivers in 2010. The effective dates for those new laws are as follows:
- Delaware – January 3, 2011
- Georgia – July 1, 2010
- Iowa – July 1, 2010; penalties effective July 1, 2011
- Kansas – Effective immediately when signed on May 24; warning citations to be issued until January 1, 2011
- Kentucky – Effective immediately when signed on April 15; penalties effective January 1, 2011
- Massachusetts – October 1, 2010
- Michigan – July 1, 2010
- Nebraska – July 15, 2010
- Vermont – Effective immediately when signed on June 1
- Wisconsin – December 1, 2010
- Wyoming – July 1, 2010
As North America's largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides nearly 52 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.
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