Stories tagged traffic laws

Jul
30
2008

m i @ risk?: Emergency room doctors have issued an alert about increased injuries they're seeing to people who are text messaging while doing some other activity. And starting Friday, Minnesota law will ban texting while driving a motor vehicle.
m i @ risk?: Emergency room doctors have issued an alert about increased injuries they're seeing to people who are text messaging while doing some other activity. And starting Friday, Minnesota law will ban texting while driving a motor vehicle.Courtesy Alton
These headlines caught my attention this week after I was nearly smacked by a car while entering a crosswalk last weekend. The teen-age driver didn’t see me as she was typing in a text message on her cell phone. I had a few choice words I wanted to text to her.

Emergency room doctors are seeing a significant upswing in cases of people injured while trying to multi-task while text messaging. According to this AP report, there have even been two fatalities linked to texting. They view the situation as being serious enough that they've issued a public alert about the dangers of texting while doing other tasks.

Starting Friday (Aug. 1) here in Minnesota, it will now be illegal to text message while you’re seated behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. Drivers convicted of the violation will face a $300 fine. Eighteen other states in the country also ban texting while driving while six states outlaw using any type of cellular communication device while driving.

As one of the doctors puts it clearly in the AP story, texters think they’re multitasking and being efficient with their use of time, but they’re actually doing two separate tasks in several second increments. And while driving, having your attention diverted from the road for even a couple seconds can have disastrous results.

What do you think? Does text messaging need to be regulated? (take our poll) Is this an over reaction to the situation? Have you had a scary situation involving texting? Share your thoughts here with other Buzz readers.

UPDATE: Here's the link to a story that reports nearly half of all teen drivers text while they drive.