Last week, Phoenix became the first city in the nation to ban text messaging while driving. Based on dangers associated with distracted driving, city officials concluded that the dangers of text messaging while driving outweigh any possible public benefits. For the next thirty days, police officers and other public officials will notify and educate drivers about the dangers of texting while driving and the civil penalty imposed of up to $100 if you are caught texting and driving.
Other cities have been quick to follow with similar proposals to ban texting. In fact, the City of Scottsdale Transportation Committee may recommend to the Scottsdale City Council that it enact a similar ban based on a goal of reducing driver distractions which can lead to collisions.
How will police enforce such a ban? While we can appreciate the goal of reducing collisions caused by driver distractions, will the ban actually accomplish this goal? Perhaps it might. However, I am not sure drivers will change texting behavior as a result of the recent City Council action. I would guess that younger drivers use text messaging features on their wireless phones more than any other class of drivers in our state. Perhaps other oversight actions such as raising the legal driving age to eighteen may accomplish similar objectives backed by easier enforcement. What do you think? Do you believe this ban will affect driver behavior? Will it discourage you from getting into your vehicle and typing a text message on your phone while you are driving down Central Avenue in Phoenix? Let me know your thoughts.
For more information on this subject matter, please refer to the section on Car and Motorcycle Accidents.