Yesterday in Washington State, Gov. Christine Gregoire signed the first national law against driving while texting (D.W.T). The New York Times covered this in today’s newspaper article “Hands on the Wheel, Not on the BlackBerry Keys“. The fine is $101(as a secondary offense). New Jersey is also considering a similar law, and some states currently have a ban for using a cellphone in the car unless the driver has a headphone on.
I wish they would not always use BlackBerrys as the example when talking about D.W.T, any cellphone or smart-phone is a similar distraction. I do admit (us) BlackBerry users are an addicted, enthusiastic smart-phone user crowd (i.e. the word CrackBerry that is in Wikipedia).
But are headphones or Bluetooth enabled cars really any better? For (sleep deprived, over-scheduled) parents to pull off defensive driving, shouldn’t they direct all of their available attention to the road? Especially for parents with kids in the car, who already provide enough of a distraction. I have mentioned before that I struggle with this every day, and have resolved to putting my BlackBerry out of reach while driving. Yet, I do weaken at times while the car is stopped at a light and take a quick peek. It does worry me that there may be others on the road texting while driving. That is enough to inspire me to keep my eyes on the road and off my smartphone.