While operating a moving vehicle it is illegal to talk on a hand-held cell phone. A New York City Councilman wants to take it a step further and ban text-messaging while driving as well.
Currently, only four states, including New Jersey have banned texting while driving. But, bills are pending in 16 other states.
The bill was unveiled on Friday by NYC Councilman David Weprin. Drivers face a fine of $100 the first they them are caught reading or sending a text message while driving.
“The problem is, texting can certainly lead to an accident,” Weprin said.
Weprin believes it’s a generational issue. Teenagers and 20-somethings are usually the ones that text while behind the wheel. But, with more and more people now using BlackBerry’s, older people are also texting and driving more frequently.
A 2006 survey by Nationwide Auto Insurance found that 19 percent of drivers text while driving. That number rose dramatically to 37 percent among drivers aged 18 to 27.
Councilman Weprin said he was first inspired to pursue this ban after a crash last summer in upstate New York killed five teenage girls.
Investigators believe the driver’s cell phone was sending text messages right as her car collided with a tractor-trailer.