As the new year begins, I'm happy to see our new Distracted Driving PSA reaching the nation's viewers. I'm also happy to read that state legislatures are going to be busy working on bills to help prevent distracted driving.
As Matt Richtel reported over the weekend, "Lawmakers have already proposed 200 bills to curb distracted driving, and policy analysts expect to see dozens more in the coming months."
That's good news. But I won't check "End the epidemic of distracted driving" off my 2010 resolution list until residents of these states and others let their legislators know that talking on the phone and texting while driving are simply not safe and should be made illegal.
Arizona state legislator Steve Farley, a panelist at our Distracted Driving Summit, makes the right comparison when he tells the New York Times that getting people to "see distracted driving like we see drunk driving is the comparison we need to continue to make."
In its review of state laws that have gone into effect with the New Year, NBC reminds its viewers that only 19 states and the District of Columbia currently outlaw texting while driving.
Now, I'd like to leave this up to the states because historically they do a pretty good job protecting their roadways and keeping their residents safe. But, as I told NBC, there are several bills in Congress right now that will do the job if the states don't act on their own.
Steve Farley has the right idea: we did this with drunk driving, we can do this with distracted driving.
For more media coverage of this deadly practice, please visit D!straction.gov our newest resource in the campaign for road safety.