May 25, 2010

Kansas becomes 26th state to ban texting

Kansas Gov. Mark Parkinson signed an anti-texting-while-driving bill into law for all drivers in his state. As the 26th state to pass a texting ban, Kansas has taken the country past the halfway mark toward a nationwide prohibition of texting while driving.

Kansas's new law will outlaw texting by all drivers. Drivers caught texting will receive warnings until January 1, 2011, after which law enforcement will issue $60 fines for violations. Because it is a primary law, police officers can stop motorists suspected of this offense alone.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has developed sample legislation that states can use as a starting point to craft measures to ban texting. The sample bill is modeled after President Obama's Oct. 1, 2009, Executive Order prohibiting federal employees from texting while operating government-owned vehicles and equipment. Last year, more than 200 distracted driving bills were under consideration by state legislatures, and the number has grown this year.

For more information on distracted driving and the Department of Transportation's work, click here

 

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